The Belton Journal

The central Texas community is invited to an event to celebrate the fine arts and also to remember a local man who impacted many people with his outlook and his smile.
The organization Smile Like Marcus is holding a free event on Saturday, Aug. 5, from noon until 4 p.m. at Grizzly’s Hidden Falls Nursery in Nolanville.
There will be more than 40 artists, four musicians, and six performances as part of the “Until the End” art exhibition.
“The concept of this event is to share with the world that we all have a purpose, and we must live our purpose until our last day on this earth. This event features many incredibly talented people who are living out their purpose and using it for great causes,” said Dominique Simmons, the sister of the late Marcus Simmons, for whom the organization was named.
“Not only do we want people to be inspired to live out their purpose in life, but we want people to come to this free community event on August 5th and feel loved.”
On the schedule to perform Saturday are A.C.T. Pasifika, German Ballet Folklorico, Lily’s Hosanna, Normencita Hotopp, Communidad Nuestra Raices, as well as the Killeen Korean Culture Center.
Vocal performances are scheduled for Eric Turner, Julia Tucker, Nate Harris, and Megan Brucker.
A charity art auction will be held, as well as outdoor art classes.
A food truck will be on hand, as well as free lemonade served by Killeen 7th Day Adventist Church. Free water will be provided by First United Methodist Church of Nolanville.
The family of Marcus Simmons began the nonprofit and held its first community event back on January 20, his birthday, to honor his legacy.
Simmons passed away in 2009 of sickle cell disease. In view of this, Carter Blood Care will also be having a blood drive at Saturday’s event.
Simmons served in the U.S. Air Force and also worked as a bus driver for Copperas Cove ISD prior to his death.
“My brother Marcus was an amazing son, husband, father, and friend. He loved working with kids and driving the school bus for Copperas Cove ISD. In 2009 he passed away from Sickle Cell complications, and his passing impacted me and my family,” said Simmons.
She explained the story behind the name.
“My brother would always smile, and he brought so much joy not only to my family but to people around the community,” she said. “The Smile Like Marcus organization embodies the love that God put inside of my brother, and it also exists to bring smiles to people through art, community service, and events.
“Our goal for this upcoming event on August 5th is to bring people from different cultures and backgrounds together as we celebrate visual arts.”
Smile Like Marcus is also looking for volunteers to help artists set up their art and break down their art displays after the show, volunteers to help direct parking and assist performers on where to go upon arrival. Those who are interested in a volunteer opportunity should visit to sign up.