A.J. Moore High School kicks off its 16th Biennial Reunion with a luncheon for alumni veterans.

Press release

“Reunited and it feels so good!! This is the theme of this year’s 16th Biennial A. J. Moore High School Reunion (July 5, 6, & 7, 2019). A lot of planning has gone into making this year’s Reunion extra-special. We will celebrate the Golden Anniversaries of the Classes of 1968 and 1969 with a flair. In addition, all alumni veterans are invited to attend a lunch sponsored by several alumni and Jeff Hunter Toyota. There is no charge for alumni veterans who are registered for the Reunion. Already, more than 45 alumni veterans have registered for the luncheon.

Prior to the Alumni Veterans Luncheon there will be a business meeting where several elected civic leaders will greet alumni. Scholarships will be awarded to AJMHs legacy high school graduates.

In addition to coming together for the usual celebrating, cordiality, congratulating, and social meeting, alumni will have an opportunity to record their memories and reflections as part of an oral history project in collaboration with Baylor Oral History Department. This will be very important as it will add to contributions from others who lived and shared the AJMHS story. The school has been closed since 1971 and there are fewer voices left to share the legacy with each passing day. AJMHS alumni want the traditions, achievements, goals, and our voices to live on in recorded recollections.

On Friday, “Denim and Diamond” night, alumni will celebrate with a parade of classes from all years past, casino games, brunch, and awards to elected alumni civic leaders. On Saturday, “All White Unity Night,” alumni will celebrate with a banquet featuring Dr. Hazel Rowe, Interim Superintendent of Waco ISD. Music and dancing follows each night’s events.

Sunday morning begins with worship service and there will be a barbeque picnic that afternoon.  

All events will take place in the Brazos Room at Waco Convention. For additional information visit our website.

 A. J. Moore High School Alumni Association thanks everyone who is supporting this year’s Reunion. We want to send a special note of gratitude to Amy Hunter (Jeff-Hunter Toyota), Peter Kultgen (Bird-Kultgen Ford), Magnolia Market at The Silos, Ty White (Golden Corral), Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, Awards Specialties, M & M Mars, Melvin Lipsitz (M. Lipsitz & Co.), Hilton Hotels and Resorts – Waco, and the City of Waco.

Caritas of Waco Receives Continuation Funding for “Veterans’ Case Management” Program

Press release

Caritas of Waco has received a $200,000 grant to continue a case management program specifically for low-income veterans, offering guidance for veterans living at or near the poverty level through a process to help them overcome financial, emotional, educational, employment and other barriers to success.  The program’s goal is to assist these veterans in moving out of poverty by becoming more self-sufficient and less reliant on emergency assistance programs. 

“Caritas is very excited about continuing this program and the benefits it will bring to veterans in our area,” said Tammy Stevens, Client Services Director at Caritas.  “We have had numerous success stories with our case management veterans and we look forward to serving many more,” she added.

The Caritas Veterans’ Case Management Program will serve a veteran of any era and service branch who has had an honorable discharge, who resides in the six-county service area (McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, and Limestone) and who has an annual income no greater than 200% of the federal poverty level. Caritas case management staff will offer a variety of direct and supportive services that veterans need to reach individual goals.

Veterans may contact Caritas directly in person, by phone or through referral from another service provider for information about the program.  Individuals will speak with the veterans’ case manager to arrange an assessment of eligibility for participation in the program.  Thereafter, the veteran will work with the case manager to carry out a needs assessment and begin work on a “plan of action” to address areas of need in the veteran’s life.

Caritas of Waco is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that serves McLennan County and the surrounding area by providing individuals and families with urgent support and long-term solutions to poverty.

For interviews or more information, contact Tammy Stevens by telephone at 254-753-4593 (extension 227), by e-mail ([email protected]), or in person at 300 South 15th Street.

This program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance. The Fund for Veterans’ Assistance provides grants to organizations serving veterans and their families.

Wine Tasting Event to Benefit Talitha Koum

Press release – Please join Lake Brazos Rotary Club for a weekend of fine wine and dining in downtown Waco as we raise money for Talitha Koum Institute. Everyone is welcome to attend one or both nights. Barnett’s Public House has carefully selected all of the wines for this charity event.

The World of Wine fund-raiser begins on Friday, June 7th, with a VIP dinner featuring the gourmet creations of Leah Stewart, owner of The Olive Branch. This event is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with dinner starting at 7 p.m. Click here to preview the menu for Friday night.

The fund-raiser continues Saturday evening, June 8th, with a wine tasting that will include a silent auction, buffet, wine pull, and discounted cases of featured wines. The wine tasting is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with VIPs having the option of arriving as early as 4 p.m.

Each ticket for Friday’s VIP dinner costs $175 and includes free entry to Saturday’s wine tasting. Individual wine-tasting tickets are $35.

Click here for tickets and details.

H-E-B’s Help End Hunger Campaign to Benefit Caritas of Waco

Press release –

H-E-B and Caritas of Waco are partnering together to help feed the hungry in our community.

In the Waco community, approximately 30% of the population live below the poverty line. Many of these individuals do not know where they will get their next meal, and summer can be an especially challenging time with children not having access to school meal programs.

H-E-B’s Help End Hunger campaign supports food banks and food pantries throughout Texas, assisting people who struggle to avoid hunger. Locally, Caritas of Waco will benefit from funds raised by this effort. In turn, Caritas will provide needed food assistance to individuals and families in the Waco community.

At H-E-B stores in the Waco area, customers can help their neighbors by adding a $1, $3 or $5 donation to their final grocery bill. All proceeds from the donation campaign will benefit Caritas.

The campaign is running from May 8 through June 25 in all area H-E-B Stores, and the community is encouraged to support this important effort.

For more information, contact Buddy Edwards, Executive Director of Caritas, at 753-4593, ext. 205, or [email protected].   

Salvation Army and Art Center of Waco team up to showcase works by homeless artists

The Salvation Army of Waco and The Art Center of Waco have teamed up for the HeART of the Homeless initiative. This program is funded by City Center Waco and Creative Waco to provide for expressions of art to be created by the homeless and others who are served at The Salvation Army Community Kitchen. 

Twice a week, during the dinner rush, an Art Center of Waco teaching artist prepares for evening art projects outside in the kitchen courtyard. The kitchen serves anyone in need of a meal and the art program provides the same – Anyone in need of some time to enjoy a moment of creative comfort or friendly conversation with other participants. Art projects range from expressive painting, found, donated and/or recycled items crafted into pictures or sculpture, or donated and personal items decorated with tie dye or fabric paints. A variety of art options are always available with the intention of being accessible to all ages and interests.  

Art participants are always appreciative to have the opportunity to build their art experience. It is not uncommon to hear “I really needed that, thank you!” or “I made a special trip to join today.” When told artwork was going to be presented to the public, many participants became more engaged and enjoyed the idea that the public would have the opportunity to see their artwork. Please take a moment to join us to enjoy each piece and know that someone’s heart was put into their work. We can all be connected by art and the HeART of the Homeless program has drawn a creative community to the Salvation Army of Waco Community Kitchen to appreciate each other’s unique voices and experiences, inclusive of all of life’s circumstance. 

To celebrate this collaboration, there will be a free public Art Exhibit Wednesday, May 15th from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM in both the newly refreshed outdoor courtyard behind the Salvation Army of Waco Community Kitchen, and in the Art Center of Waco Mobile Art Gallery parked in the front visitor’s lot. Address for both exhibits is 300 Webster Ave., Waco, TX.

Additional viewing dates and times will be Thursday, May 16th through Sunday, May 19th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Both exhibits are free and will both be open for self-guided viewing. 

For questions/details, please contact either Claire Sexton at the Art Center of Waco (254) 752-4371 or Diana Barrett, at The Salvation Army (254) 756-7271.

June 13, 2019: Symposium Focuses on Suicide Prevention & Connecting Schools to Mental Health Resources

Press Release

Bringing educators, mental health providers and others together to learn and take actionable steps to save lives, regarding what is considered “the preventable epidemic” among American youth, is the focus of the 14th Annual Teen Suicide Prevention Symposium.

Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12, Cedar Crest Residential Treatment Center (Platinum Sponsor), Providence Ascension Healthcare Network (Gold Sponsor), and the Methodist Children’s Home (Gold Sponsor) will present the symposium 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, June 13 at ESC Region 12, 2101 W. Loop 340 in Waco.

Medical and mental health speakers will share research and strategies for helping youth who struggle with suicidal ideation.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an average of one person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes in the U.S with more than 120 people dying by suicide each day.

Jenipher Janek, ESC Region 12 counseling specialist and regional crisis response team leader, says social media continues to be a factor in teen suicide, but efforts to raise awareness about healthy practices and reporting options are making a difference in Central Texas schools.
“We are seeing an increase in the need for suicide prevention and intervention in our region and in our state. This event offers an opportunity to come together and discuss ways that we may be more effective and collaborative in our efforts to keep our kids safe.”
In addition to the speakers and panel, several organizations will provide resources in an effort to bridge the gap between education and mental health services.

“Schools are struggling to find and make connections with resources in the community,” Janek said. “If we can provide a collaborative place for making that less difficult, we’d really like to do that. Our kids are depending on us.”

More than 35 participants from schools and other entities are registered and additional seats are available. The symposium is $90 to attend and includes a light breakfast and lunch. Registration is available at www.esc12.net.

Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive to Benefit Local Food Pantries

As part of the 27th annual “Stamp-Out Hunger” food drive, McLennan County, Texas, letter carriers will be joining forces with the National Association of Letter Carriers on Saturday, May 11th, for the largest one-day food drive in the nation.  The drive assists millions of families in the United States who are struggling to put food on their tables every day.  In the Waco-McLennan County area, letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable food donations to help people served by Caritas of Waco, the Salvation Army and Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry.  This drive is one way people can assist those in their own city who need help.

This year Wal-mart is partnering with “Stamp-Out Hunger” by providing paper bags that letter carriers will leave at each mailbox prior to May 11th and which can be used for food donations. 

To participate in the “Stamp-Out Hunger” Food Drive, households are encouraged to place non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables, canned meats, pasta/sauces, rice, cereal, peanut butter, dry beans, rice, macaroni & cheese, baby food, etc., in bags and leave them next to their mailbox prior to their regular mail delivery time on Saturday, May 11.   Letter carriers will then collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and will provide them to Caritas, the Salvation Army and Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry for distribution to people in need. 

In the past, letter carriers in the Waco-McLennan County area have collected over 50,000 pounds of non-perishable food which makes this drive one of the largest food collection efforts in the community. 

For more information, call Jerrod Perry, United States Postal Service, at 254-709-1094.

The “Stamp-Out Hunger” Food Drive takes place this Saturday, May 11th.  All that you need to do is to place non-perishable food items, such as canned vegetables, canned meats, cereal, peanut butter, etc., in the Walmart paper bag left by your letter carrier and place it next to your mailbox prior to your regular mail delivery time on Saturday.   Letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail and will provide them to Caritas, the Salvation Army and Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry for distribution to people in need.  Thanks for your help!

Do you like to walk or bike? Share your input for the Waco Active Transportation plan!

Do you walk, ride, roll, bike or drive in McLennan County? The Waco region is growing! That raises questions about how we will get to places we want to go now and in the future.

The Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is now receiving public comment on a draft Waco Metropolitan Area Active Transportation Plan (ATP). The ATP provides recommendations for expanding and improving the pedestrian and bicycling transportation network in the Waco Metropolitan Area through the year 2045.

For a Draft of the Active Transportation Plan, Click Here: Draft Plan.

The Waco Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) outlines the broader mobility needs for the Waco Metropolitan Area through 2045. The MTP serves as the blueprint from which mobility projects to address those needs are developed.

The MPO will be conducting 2 public informational meetings to give interested persons the opportunity to view the draft ATP plan and to solicit comments regarding recommended strategies for improving pedestrian and biking conditions. The MPO also invites interested persons to help in the development of the MTP by identifying mobility challenges and sharing ideas to address them. These meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 12 Noon. South Waco Community Center, 2815 Speight Avenue, Waco, TX 76711 Doors open 11:30 AM. ATP presentation at 12 Noon. MTP presentation at 1 PM.
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 5:30 p.m. South Waco Community Center, 2815 Speight Avenue, Waco, TX 76711 Doors open 5:00 PM. ATP presentation at 5:30 PM. MTP presentation at 6:30 PM.

The MPO is accepting comments regarding the Active Transportation Plan through July 5, 2019, and the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) through 5:00 PM on May 31, 2019. Comments may be sent by e-mail to [email protected], or by mail to Waco MPO, P.O. Box 2570, Waco, TX, 76702-2570. Verbal comments will also be accepted at (254) 750-5650 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Comments should be directed to Christopher Evilia and may be submitted via the following methods:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: (254) 750-5650
  • Mail: Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization P.O. Box 2570 Waco, Texas 76702-2570

Worldwide Free Comic Book Day Comes to Waco with Comics for All!

Press release – Bankston’s in Waco is one of the thousands of comic book shops around the world celebrating the largest event in the comic book industry on Saturday, May 4th: Free Comic Book Day (FCBD)! Each year, thousands of participating stores give away over five million comic books to millions of fans to introduce them to the wonders of comics.

“Free Comic Book Day is a great event for the whole community. Bringing everyone together, finding books for everyone to enjoy, and seeing people of all ages—children, teens, and adults—sharing our passion for comics is incredible,” said Jeremy Root, manager of Bankston’s. “Even if you’ve never picked up a comic book, we want to welcome everyone to Bankston’s on May 4th, because there are so many amazing comics this year and we can’t wait to share them.”

This is the 18th year Bankston’s will celebrate FCBD, offering the community a fun, family-oriented event where everyone can find a comic they’ll enjoy. Bouncy Houses, DeeJay Versatile, Sidewalk Sale, FCBD Patches and this year several Music Bands.

“With awesome titles like Avengers, Tokyo Pop Disney, Riverdale, TMNT, Pokemon and others, we’re sure there’s a comic book for everyone,” Root continued. “Comics are a fun and enduring form of entertainment for readers of all ages to dive into as imagination comes to life. Whether it be popular comics, film, television shows, or video games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Regular updates, information about comic books, and a list of participating publishers and their free comics are all online at www.freecomicbookday.com.

Free Comic Book Day kicks off at 10:00am and runs until 6:00pm at Bankston’s Comics and Sportscards at 1321 S. Valley Mills Dr in Waco. Call 254-755-0070, or follow us on Facebook for more information.

ABOUT FREE COMIC BOOK DAY—Celebrating its 18th year, Free Comic Book Day is the comic book specialty market’s annual event where participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their comic shops. The event is held the first Saturday in May and is the perfect opportunity to introduce friends and family to the many worlds of wonder available at local comic book shops. From super-heroes to slice-of-life to action/adventure and beyond, Free Comic Book Day has a comic book for everyone!

Press Release: Acclaimed Nashville songwriters to perform in support of TTU student scholarships

WACO, TX – The second-annual “Chords & Conversations” Songwriters event is set to return on March 30 at the Waco Hilton and will feature three Nashville songwriters who will perform acoustic versions of their hit songs in support of Texas Tech University Higher Education Teaching Site at Waco, directly benefiting Waco-campus students through scholarships.

According to Dr. Lewis Snell, director at TTU Waco, this event is a rare opportunity for music goers to connect with three of the most acclaimed hitmakers in the music industry in an intimate, live performance and discover the stories behind the songs.  

“Not only will each artist perform acoustic versions of some of their most well-loved compositions, but they will also relate stories about the people, places and circumstances that inspired those songs,” Snell explained. “More importantly. The event will give you an opportunity to support—in a powerful way—local college students who are pursuing their dreams.”

Set to perform are Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member Bob Dipiero, three-time

Grammy Nominee Lee Thomas Miller, and “Song of the Year” Nominee Wendell Mobley, who have penned more than 30-combined chart toppers, including Blue Clear Sky, Take Me As I Am, The Impossible, Fast Cars and Freedom and How Country Feels.

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and include a pre-show reception catered by Hilton Waco’s executive chef Nathaniel Gay, the performance, and then conclude with an after-show reception where visitors are invited to mingle with the artists over coffee and dessert. 

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this event. For more information, please contact Lewis Snell at 254-299-8288 or email at [email protected].  Individual tickets for the event are now available for $150 each and can be purchased at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/waco/chords-and-conversations/ or visit the Facebook page @TexasTechWaco.