INVESTING IN EDUCATION
Things to do in mount pleasant
EVERYTHING TEXAS HEARTBEAT
TITUS COUNTY FAIR
Johnny Longlegs Sighting with Chamber Partner, Heav’nly Foods.
JULY/AUG ISSUE 16 2015
BI-MONTHLY BUSINESS REPORT
8 Partners 4 Quake on Town Lake 6
Everything Texas Heartbeat :Jey Yancey 8
Partner Spotlight: TRMC 11 Summer Fun Spots 12 Investing in Education 14 Future of Higher Education 16 Titus County Fair 18
To the next level New Partners
May 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015
BLK Locksmith Cigna-Healthsprings
Morrison Tech Services Mount Pleasant Pet Resort
Northeast Texas General Surgery
Renewing May 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015
8TwentyOne Boutique Accolade Homecare ACH Construction AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Company Allstate Insurance - C. Bruce Moler Applebees Neighborhood Grill & Bar Arcy's Salon 1 & 2 Area Wide Movers and Storage Bates Cooper Sloan Funeral Home Bella Smiles Bowie Cass Electric Cooperative Cecelia Hagey Chambers Home Health and Physical Therapy Chapman Transfer & Storage Inc Chili's Tennison Cowan Inspection Cypress Bank David K. Wall
Diya Modi LLC, dba Best Western East Texas Journal Efurd Orchards First Presbyterian Church H & R Distributors Ivan Smith Furniture Jones Insurance Agency, Inc. Karen Neeley Lil Man's Boutique & Sister Too M.O.M Ministering Our Military McCoy's Building Supply Center Mill's Flower Shop Motel 6 Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune Mount Pleasant Family Practice Mount Pleasant Healthcare Center Northeast Small Business Development Center Open Imaging of Titus Regional PDI Plastics
Pilgrim Bank Pleasant Springs Healthcare Priefert Complex Design, LLC Randy's Burgers Republic Services Roberts Air Conditioning Shelter Agency for Families of East Texas Sisk Motors, Inc. Spencer Miche Spruill Honda Kawasaki Taco Bell #551 The Bake Shop The Design Factory The Landing The Sign Express The Tri-County Press Trade Management
Drag boat racers and their fans will pour into Mount Pleasant in July for the annual Quake on Town Lake. The event, billed as the fastest outboard drag boat racing event in Texas, is set for July 11-12 at Town Lake. Organized by Diamond C Trailers, City of Mount Pleasant and benefiting Cypress Basin Hospice, the annual thrill ride is something the Crabb family is personally invested in. “It had been going on since 1997, but they didn’t host it in 2004-2006. When my Dad and I got back into racing, we went to Hospice and asked if they’d like to do it again, so we got it reorganized and brought it back in 2007,” said event organizer and “Last Minute Racing” driver Jacob Crabb. This is Crabb’s 10th season with three wins at Quake on Town Lake -- 2009, 2010 and 2014 -- for his “Last Minute Racing” team in different classes. “We’ve been pretty success-
ful. Over the years we’ve had eight or nine overall wins, 10 second place and about the same number of third place finishes,” Crabb said. The event is one of six races in the Deep South Racing Association circuit and draws about 40 racing teams mainly from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and the Deep South region. This year, he’ll be defending his 2014 title as winner in the Outlaw class, in which there are no restrictions on the type of parts a team can use on their boats. “It’s an anything goes type class. You can run any kind of exotic after-market parts you want,” he said. In 2009 and 2010, Crabb won Quake in the Modified Production class, which limits parts to original stock parts. The racing team made up of Jacob Crabb and his father, Mike Crabb, has been at it for long before Jacob took over the driver’s seat. Crabb said his father had raced on and
off and took Jacob with him to outboard drag races from the age of five. “When I turned 18 and graduated, I started driving a boat,” he said. “I’m an adrenaline junkie, I guess. It’s the speed, the exhilaration. You just can’t get enough of it. We raced all kinds of stuff growing up, motorcycles, cars, boats, whatever has a motor, so it’s been one of things that’s in my blood.” The hundreds of spectators who will line the grassy banks of Town Lake share in the thrill of the onequarter mile races. “It’s an adrenaline rush just watching it. In the class I’m in, we run these boats 110 miles per hour in 660 feet, so it’s pretty quick. Everything happens so fast,” Crabb said. The event draws not only racing fans, but the general public as well with its carnival-type family atmosphere, myriad food vendors, a lively race announcer and access to the rac-
ers’ pit area. “The pits where the boats stay is all in one area with the spectators. The drivers are really nice. They love to answer questions and show their boats off. The kids get to talk to the guys and get autographs. It’s a pretty light-hearted atmosphere,” Crabb said. “Families just come and bring their bag chairs, their lawn chairs and blankets and sit on the grass. Even the name of the Crabb team has a tongue-in-cheek meaning. “We call our team “Last Minute Racing” and put the name on the boat. It turned into kind of a joke because no matter how hard you try, you’re always scrambling last minute loading stuff up to get everything ready for the race,” he said. But, when it comes to raising money for Cypress Basin Hospice and bringing tourism dollars into Mount Pleasant, its serious business. “We have so many sponsors that donate because they know what this event
does for Mount Pleasant and for Hospice,” Crabb said. With each team bringing an average of 4-7 people with them, about 60 hotel rooms are booked for the weekend, restaurants are packed and gas stations stay busy. “There’s quite a bit of commerce that takes place over that weekend, so it’s a good little cash flow injection for the city,” Crabb said. Chamber CEO Faustine Curry said Quake on Town Lake is a great event for Mount Pleasant. “With 40 teams coming in from all over the region to our community, it’s a great economic boost for us and the proceeds go to one of our local charities,” Curry said. “It’s also a fun event for the whole family with lots of action and excitement.” One hundred percent of the proceeds from the admission tickets will benefit Cypress Basin Hospice. “They are a great organization, a great group
of people,” Crabb said of the non-profit organization that has provided familyoriented, compassionate end-of-life care for more than 25 years. “We will all face that at one point in our lives and in that time of need, you will need these people, so we want to support that.” Quake on Town Lake tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for kids and seniors and admission is free for children 5 and younger. There is a $10 fee to bring coolers into the park. For information, contact the Chamber office at 903-572-8567, Jacob Crabb at 903-466-1349 or Facebook.com/QuakeOnTownLake.
to Mount Pleasant, where he began working for Offenhauser Insurance in 2010. “Toward the end of our time in Dallas, we were here every weekend. We weren’t happy in Dallas,” Yancey said. “I’m from a town of 9,500 people. Cassie’s dad joked their house was our lake house.” Their first child, Lilly Jane, will be six months old in July. Yancey just recently accepted a new job with He’s not a Mount Pleasant native. Or even a Guaranty Bank & Trust as an assistant vice presidentnative of Texas. But his small town Arkansas roots and loan officer and is going through the company’s managehis college sweetheart led Jey Yancey to build his career ment training program, while Cassie is a dental hygienist and start a family in the heart of for Dr. Robert Sikes. Everything Texas. “I’d been with OffenI’m a huge people person and when I hauser for almost five years. I The chair of the Chamber’s Tourism Committee grew up came here I didn’t know anybody. Being loved what I did there, but it was involved in the Chamber has given me time for a change and Guaranty in Stuttgart, AR and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fithe opportunity to meet new people not came calling. I wasn’t going to nance, Risk and Insurance Man- just for business purposes, but for per- say no to them. You don’t get opagement from the University Of portunities to work for such a sonal reasons.” Mississippi School Of Business great company every day. My Administration. That’s where he wife and I are very excited about met his wife, Cassie Redfearn, who has deep family the change.” roots in Mount Pleasant. He had lived in Mount Pleasant He credits his volunteer work with the Chamber briefly during his college internship at Pilgrim’s in 2008, for making those networking connections that helped but headed to Dallas to start his career with The Repub- grow his client base at Offenhauser and ultimately led to lic Group as a claims adjuster. his new position with Guaranty. It didn’t take long for the young couple to realize He started volunteering in 2010 when he and life in the big city wasn’t for them and they moved back Offenhauser joined the Chamber. He also is a member
of the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club. “Joining the Chamber was one of the first things I did when we moved back here,” he said. “Actually, Bill Price kept coming to the office before I even got there and asking them to join. When I got there, I said, ‘That’s a really good idea. So, we joined.” Chamber CEO Faustine Curry put him to work on the Junior Chamber Committee at Chapel Hill High School and the Marketing Committee. He began serving as a member of the board of directors in 2012 and now heads the Tourism Committee and also serves on the Johnny Longlegs Committee, which plans appearances for the Mount Pleasant’s cowboy hat, jeans and boots-clad mascot. “We couldn’t be luckier to have such a strong volunteer as Jey Yancey. From the moment he got involved with the chamber he has stepped up to get the job done,” said Curry. “He has new and exciting ideas from serving as Johnny Longlegs to being in the golf tournament to being the chair of the Tour-
ism Committee. He is always more than willing to go above and beyond for the Chamber and for Mount Pleasant.” While his volunteer hours keep him pretty busy, he said the benefits are well worth the time. “I’m a huge people person and when I came here I didn’t know anybody. Being involved in the Chamber has given me the opportunity to meet new people not just for business purposes, but for personal reasons,” Yancey said. “It’s work sometimes, but 99 percent of the time it’s fun. Even doing something once a month is going to benefit you on some level.”
Dr. Milan Sekulic
Letâ€™s get straight to the heart of the matter: spending time with those you love is your number one priority. Making healthy lifestyle choices and paying close attention to your heart health should also be a priority. Dr. Milan Sekulic and Cardiology Consultants of East Texas, PA, members of Titus Regional Medical Group, help you live the life you love, by providing the very best in heart care for our community. Dr. Sekulic has a passion for leading edge technology and expertise, as evidenced by quadruple board certifications: Cardiology, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiovascular Computer Tomography. Cardiology Consultants of East Texas offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular disease, from irregular rhythm detection and management, to advanced heart failure management, without missing a beat. With a wide array of diagnostic capabilities, including electrocardiography, echocardiography, stress testing, and holter monitoring to name a few, Dr. Sekulic and his team possess a stellar reputation for accurate diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular issues. Conveniently located adjacent to Titus Regional Medical Center in Titus Medical Plaza, Cardiology Consultants is positioned on the third floor in Suite 310. New patients are always welcomed and appointments may be made by calling 903.577.7070.
Summer is here! It’s time get outside and enjoy Everything Texas! There’s no need to pack, either. There’s lot of summer fun and close-to-home exploring right here in our own back yard! restored to fly. The star of the museum is the DC-3 “Sky King,” believed to be the most historically documented comA Texas Main Street city, the historic bat aircraft of WWII. downtown district features plenty of old- -The Edison Phonograph Museum is timey charm with brick sidewalks to aptly housed in the basement of Hoostroll while you shop for antiques, ver’s Jewelry in the historic 1925 Mount unique gifts, fine jewelry as well as de- Pleasant Public Library building. The 70 signer clothing and shoes in a variety of -80 machines on display are part of a boutiques. With buildings dating back private collection by Hoover’s owner, the late 1890s, the oldest – located at David Hoover and fellow phonograph the corner of 1st and Jefferson Streets, collectors. features an original Dr. Pepper mural. The Titus County Courthouse was origi- Make A Splash nally built in 1897. After three building remodels, the solid brass bell that hung -Mount Pleasant is in the heart of Texas in the original structure now hangs in a Lake Country. With three lakes – Lake memorial bell tower located opposite Bob Sandlin, Lake Monticello and the courthouse grounds. Welsh Lake - outdoor enthusiasts have access to 17,000 acres within minutes Take a Step Back in Time for boating, swimming, camping, hiking, jet skiing and some of the best catfish, -The Mount Pleasant Historical Muse- crappie and bass fishing in Texas. um is housed inside the Mount Pleasant There are nine city parks, including City Library, featuring displays and arti- Town Lake, which borders the Mount facts from its Caddo Native American Pleasant Country Club, featuring a scehistory and the Civil War era as well as nic respite with picnic tables, grills and a collection of photographs from the two boat ramps. Dellwood Park, a 45city’s original pioneers. acre wooded park – once famous for its -The Mid America Flight Museum fea- mineral springs – includes a swimming tures antique planes. Housed in a new pool, jogging and nature trail, tennis hanger being constructed at the Mount courts, picnic tables, pavilions, playPleasant Municipal Airport, the majority grounds and sports fields. of the museums 20 planes fly on a regular basis, while all others are being Take a Downtown Stroll
Hit the Golf Course The Mount Pleasant Country Club features a beautiful, semi-private 18-hole, 6,550-yard, par 72 championship golf course, a full-service clubhouse, swimming pool and tennis courts.
Indulge Your Sweet Tooth You don’t have to go far to find sweets in Mount Pleasant. There’s decadent gourmet, hand-made chocolates from Sweet Shop USA, mouthwatering baked-from-scratch cheesecakes from Laura’s Cheesecake & Bakery and delectable, gourmet, old-fashioned pecan pralines from Golden Gals Candy Company and The Bake Shop. Take an Outdoor Adventure This is real Northeast Texas fun! Go four-wheeling, horseback riding, hiking and fishing at Camp Langston and Harts Bluff Game Ranch. The 640-acre Lake Bob Sandlin State Park also offers a great getaway for nature trail hikers and campers and boaters with three public boat ramps, a county park, Barefoot Bay Marina also offer boat access, camping and a wide range of recreational activities.
Get Up Close with Nature Nature and plant lovers can take in the Master Gardens Nature Trail. The trail features demonstration beds filled with Texasâ€™ superstar plants, rainwater harvesting, a walking trail, bluebird houses, sunflower bed, iris beds and wetland bogs. Pick Your Own Berries Efurd Orchards offers its famous peaches and fresh produce, jams, honey, salsa and homemade ice cream at its roadside stand on Highway 271 just south of Pittsburg. By the end of June blackberries are ready the blueberries come in around July. The best thing is you can buy a pint or take the kids out in the berry patch and pick your own. Greer Farm in Daingerfield also invites folks into their berries patches to take home some of the best berries around. Make a Toast Cap off your day trip at Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards and Winery in Camp County by enjoying a glass of their award-winning wines, gourmet foods and live jazz music.
â€œWe have this great group of people who are busy pursuing their passion, which is children and Education.â€?
The partnership between Chamber businesses and Titus County schools is fostering unique and innovative programs that propel students and teachers toward success. At the heart of that partnership is the Chamber Education Committee. “We have this great group of people who are busy pursuing their passion, which is children and education,” said Amy Hinton, chair of the committee. “It’s because they are so committed and devoted to that passion that we get so much done when we come together.” She said when the committee puts its collective heads together, individual campuses become secondary. The primary goal is to work together to find ways to partner with business in ways that benefit the entire education community. “Every superintendent serves on this committee and that is unheard of,” Hinton said. “They don’t just send someone. They come and serve directly; they roll up their sleeves and do the hard work.” Principal for a Day Among the committee’s signature projects is the Principal for a Day program that is held every other year. Leaders in the community are invited to spend a day walking in the shoes of the principals on each campus. They do everything starting with bus drop off in the morning to bus pick up in the afternoon. “It’s pretty eye opening and enlightening for them. They get a real understanding of what that’s like and what those schools and those children need from them,” Hinton said. State of Education Luncheon Also held every other year, the State of Education Luncheon gives business leaders a chance to hear directly from the superintendents about what is happening at their campuses, their districts as well as legislation that is on the horizon that will affect educa-
tion in Northeast Texas. “Last year we held it at the Civic Center and we included demonstrations from the students. They set up an area and got to show the leaders things they were doing on their campuses,” Hinton said. “There was an outdoor adventure program, a culinary arts program and an iPad demonstration. It was great because the business leaders not only got to hear from the superintendents, but they got to interact directly with the students. The kids loved being able to show off their stuff in that setting.”
“We put on this breakfast in their honor. Some are new to the city, some new to their districts and some new to their campus. The Chamber businesses comes out and supports them 1,000 percent because they get to make connections, network with teachers and administrators and foster those relationships that are invaluable on both sides,” she said. “The teachers benefit by meeting people in the community. They might find their new banker or real estate agent there.” The breakfast will be held August 14 at 7:30 a.m. at Northeast Texas Community College. New teachers Academic Blankets from all Titus County campuses from The longtime tradition of elementary through college and Region awarding academic blankets to high 8 Education Service Center are invited. school seniors with the highest grade This year, the new teachers will point average in each academic area also be invited to take the Chamber’s has continued for more than 65 years, new Everything Texas Tour later that starting with Mount Pleasant High same day. The tour will give them a School and including Chapel Hill High closer look around Mount Pleasant to School when it opened its campus. get acclimated to their new city or get a “That’s such a big deal. Every- fresh appreciation for the things that body looks forward to it every year,” make Mount Pleasant a great place to she said. “The businesses understand live and work. that when they do a sponsorship like an “We did a test run on our Leadacademic blanket, they are making an ership Mount Pleasant class and it was investment in those kids and in the fu- a smash. They loved it,” Hinton said. ture of Northeast Texas.” The Chamber sponsors the LEAP Youth Expo program, selling the sponsorships to The Education Committee is businesses during its Total Resource also looking to partner with Workforce Campaign. Solutions and add a new program for “Those academic blanket spon- eighth grade students in the spring as sorships are the first things to sell out they get ready for high school and start during the TRC because that program mapping out their future career path. is near and dear to their hearts,” she With the state of Texas now requiring said. students to sign an endorsement plan – choosing a career interest - in ninth New Teacher Breakfast grade, the Chamber plans to host a The next program on the agen- Learning Endorsements and Profesda for the Education Committee is wel- sions Youth Expo. coming new teachers with the New “The exhibitors would offer stuTeacher Breakfast at the start of the dents a glimpse into various profesupcoming school year. Hinton says the sions and explain and demonstrate difevent is the perfect representation of all ferent career options,” Hinton said. the Chamber wants to do when it says “The students will leave better prepared it wants to partner with business and to make an informed education and education. career decision.” mtpleasanttx.com
Back in 1975, Americans were filled with pride and patriotism as the nation celebrated its Bicentennial. In Titus County, some local residents thought it would be the perfect time to put on a county fair. It was small, but well enough attended that the small group of volunteers, headed up by Titus County Extension Agents Huella Campbell and Dick McCarver, decided to keep it going. That’s when the Titus County Fair Association was born and the fairgrounds have lit up the fall sky every year since. The 2015 fair celebrates those 40 years with bigger and better entertainment, longtime fair staples like the Livestock Show and Auction, the Academic Rodeo, Fine Arts and Creative Arts Shows, the Bake Show and the Chicken Stew Challenge, newer events like the 5K Run, started in 2012 and a salute to its rich history of past events, acts and beloved volunteers. “It’s been fun to see the fair grow through the years to where we are now,” Titus County Fair President Steve Russell says in his remarks in the 2015 catalog. “The days of setting up a tent and hanging up long cords with lights for livestock are memories for a
few of us. The fair has indeed come a long way.” Titus County Fair Vice President Marie Thomas and Secretary Gail Blair spent their lunch hour recently going through old photographs and files and reminiscing over colorful, funny and cringe-worthy fair memories from years
in the thick of things at the Creative Arts building. “That first year it was held at the Mount Pleasant Rodeo Arena and the cinder block building, the ag center, that’s where the arts and food contests were. The shelves were cinderblock and wooden planks,” Thomas recalled. “It moved the Civic Center in 1976. The livestock were under a tent erected where the baseball fields are and the auction was held in the National Guard Armory, which is now the Fire Station.” Thomas, who puts together the fair catalogs each year, said the early catalogs were typed on legal size paper and printed at the extension office. “Patty Cooper and I typed it all. She was the secretary. We had one master and we ran it on the copy machine and put them together,” she said. Some of the memorable events the fair has had over the years include, hog wrestling, an ice cream crankoff, a parking lot filled with wood, hammers and nails for kids to build stuff, 42 tournament, volleyball and softball tournaments, a dunking booth, a ping pong ball drop, an aupast. to show, a parade and a pet show that Thomas has been there from awarded ribbons to kids’ house pets for the beginning. She was a member of things like, Curliest Hair, Loudest Bark, the extension club that Campbell ran Biggest Meow or Most Spots. back then and came out to the fairThey’ve also had some colorful grounds the first year to see what it was characters as sideshows, including the all about. The very next year, she was Balloon Brothers, chainsaw artists, the
Biscuit Man, who brought a chuck wagon and demonstrated how to make biscuits from scratch; the Button Man, whose clothes and car were covered with buttons; a miniature hay baling machine, the alligator wrestler, racing pigs and a monkey who liked to spit. Some attractions were a onetime thing, like the giant python that wrapped itself around its handler’s body. “In order to keep the board of directors, Steve had to promise us that we would never have snakes again,” Thomas said, with a laugh and a shiver at the memory of the creature. Blair nodded her head enthusiastically in agreement. There was also the year that someone walked into the Civic Center while the team was still setting up for opening day and said, “Did you know you have a bear loose?” “Needless to say, you’ve never seen so many officers and directors jumping on fourwheelers and vehicles to go out there to see what the heck was going on,” Thomas said. “We were just standing there watching this bear. He apparently knew how to get out of its cage. Steve knocked on the handler’s door and tells her and she just calls him like a dog and the bear comes trotting back and gets back in his cage!” Weather has also left an indelible mark on the history of the fair. One year a twister touched down and caught the corner of a tent and knocked a huge post onto W.L. (Wimpie) Cochran’s brand new truck. He was the first president of the fair, serving from 1977 to 1981. “We were busy working inside the Civic Center and we didn’t even know it had been raining,” Thomas said. The entertainment stage has featured lots of big names over the years, including The Bellamy Brothers and more recently, Terry Fator, the ventriloquist who won America’s Got Tal-
ent. “He was scheduled to perform here the year he auditioned for the show,” she said. “He got a friend to fill in while he auditioned and then he made it, so the next year, he was very famous by then and he came back and did his show for the same price he charged us the year before.” She said the organizers are excited to bring bigger and better acts to the entertainment stage for the 40th year, including Jon Conlee, Susie McEntire Eaton, Tyler and the Tribe, Cody Wayne and Westbound 21, the Bo Hennessy Band, Jessie Raub, Jr., Los Texas
Wranglers and hypnotist Tammy Barton The 40th year is bringing back warm memories for everyone involved in the fair, from the organizers to the fairgoers who remember showing their steers, heifers, goats, hogs, lambs and chickens to blue ribbon winners in the food, arts and academic entries and winners of the Chicken Stew Challenge who received their awards from Bo Pilgrim himself. Some of the past winning recipes in the Bake Show are featured in the new catalog, including Murl Davis’ Peach Cobbler in 1986. There is also pride as past scholarships winners see their names in print in the 2015 catalog. The first scholarships were awarded in 1983 to Dwanna Maxton and Terry Horn. The 2014 recipients were Mount Pleasant High School Seniors Katy Bragg, Preston Again and Presley McClendon. This year, four scholarships will be awarded, two $2,500 scholarships and two $1,500 scholarships.
The catalog also features photos from over the decades and asks people in the community to submit their old and new photos from the fair on their Facebook page, which now has more than 7,000 likes and hopes to reach 10,000 this year. Blair said it brings the community together like one big family and also draws tourism dollars with folks coming in from around the Northeast Texas and the Dallas area to attend the 4-day fair. “It really helps the restaurants and the hotels,” she said. Blair, who oversees the vendors, said it is quite a sight when everything starts going up. “To me, you go to the Civic Center and it’s a blank slate and when everyone comes in and you get all the vendors set up, it’s like, ‘Wow, you just can’t imagine getting to that point. Then, when the carnival starts setting up, it really starts taking shape. When everybody see the rides going up, they are ready to come in the gates,” she said. It brings the whole team a sense of satisfaction to continue the fair tradition every year. “It’s a labor of love or I wouldn’t have done it for 21 years,” she said. There are also bittersweet memories of past fair volunteers. “There’s a lot who are now retired, like Huella, and there’s a lot of people we’ve lost over the years and we miss them,” Thomas said. “That’s just part of it.” Russell said all of the directors, chairmen and volunteers over the years have done a tremendous job keeping the fair going each year and have succeeded in shaping and growing the event and the organization into what it is today.
For information about the Titus County Fair contact the Chamber at 903.572.8567 or the fair’s website at tituscountyfair.com
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