Caritas Feast of Caring

Caritas, a 55 year old Central Texas nonprofit organization whose goal is to move our community “beyond hunger to hope,” provides food, clothing and emergency case management services to those in need in Waco and the surrounding community. Caritas’ annual “Feast of Caring” will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 11, at the Waco Convention Center. The fun, family friendly event will feature a soup and dessert cook-off, silent and audible auctions and the popular “Souper Spoons” game.

Feast of Caring is Caritas’ major fundraising event of the year, featuring local restaurants and caterers who have prepared choice soups and desserts for guests who will sample the offerings then “vote” by donating $1 to their favorite. The highest number of donations will determine the winner and all the donations will support Caritas’ work in Central Texas.

Bring your family and friends and enjoy a fun evening while you sample incredible soups and desserts, bid on great auction items and win by playing Souper Spoons. Ten dollars enters you in the game for the chance to win gift cards ranging in value from $10 to $180. Everyone who enters is guaranteed to win at least a $10 gift card.

Tickets, $35 each, will be go on sale mid-August at can be purchased at

Call 254-753-4593 extension 205 with questions or if you’d like to participate, sponsor, donate or volunteer.

Caritas, originally founded in 1967 by the Austin Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, has functioned as an independent organization since 1979. Beginning in 2014, they implemented a Case Management Program which helped shift the nature of their work from “relief” to “development.” Direct giving has been replaced with promoting independence and self-reliance in the lives of clients.

Caritas’ emergency assistance programs are funded by many generous supporters and donors, fundraisers and “Hidden Treasures,” their two thrift stores, located at 3016 Bellmead Drive and 3912 Bosque Blvd. Hidden Treasures sells donated appliances, furniture, clothing and other household items.

Funds raised at Feast of Caring will help support Caritas as they provide services to our neighbors in need: an average of 2,500 families per month.

Nominations being accepted for MCC Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Leader Awards

The McLennan Community College Foundation’s Highlander Alumni & Friends Association is accepting nominations through July 30 for its 2022 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Leader awards. Nomination forms for both awards are available online at under “Quick Links and Forms.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna of MCC who has demonstrated a record of distinguished service and extraordinary achievement in a particular discipline, organization or cause that brings distinction to the College. To be eligible, nominees must have successfully completed a one-year certificate or two-year associate’s degree program, or have earned a minimum of 30 transferable hours (without a degree) from MCC.

The Distinguished Leader Award is presented to a 2022 graduating or completing student of MCC who has demonstrated a record of distinguished service and extraordinary achievement in academic and extracurricular realms, shown remarkable leadership or provided service to a cause that brings distinction to the College.

            The Highlander Alumni Association was established in 2008 as a division of the McLennan Community College Foundation and serves as the principal link between the college and its network of alumni and friends. Questions about the nomination process should be directed to the association at 254-299-8481 or [email protected].

STEM Fest!

STEMfest, Inspire Wonder in Waco
FREE community event, July 16
STEMfest Community Day
STEMfest Community Stroll

Stem Fest is happening July 16!

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is a method of hands-on teaching and learning where students learn to apply academic content by creatively solving real-world problems with innovative design-based thinking to prepare students for future career opportunities.

According to labor projections, Texas is expected to have the second-highest percentage of the nation’s future STEM job opportunities. To ensure our students are prepared for this future workforce, The Texas Education Agency has established the Texas EcosySTEM– a collaborative effort which unites various stakeholders to work towards the common goal of increasing access for young people to STEM-rich learning environments so that they are engaged and have mastered the necessary skills for success in STEM careers.

Learn More

Caritas Fan Club

Summer is upon us and for many that also means facing stifling heat with inadequate air conditioning and/or wondering how to pay higher utility bills while keeping food on the table for their family.
Every summer, Caritas helps clients facing these realities by providing them with boxed fans and assisting with utility bills. Many of those we aid are elderly or disabled, and relief from the extreme heat can be lifesaving for them. We are also helping to supply food to families struggling to feed their children during the summer months, many of whom receive federal free and reduced breakfast and lunch during the school year. By becoming a member of the Caritas “Fan Club,” your gift allows us to provide fans plus utility assistance and food during the summer months for our most vulnerable community members. 

Your gift of $20.00 will cover the cost of one box fan.

Your gift of $50.00 will allow us to purchase 125 pounds of food.

Your gift of $100.00 will aid a family in danger of losing their water service.

Your gift of $250.00 will aid a family in danger of losing their electric service.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of a gift. In addition, your employer may have a matching gift program. Contact your Human Resources department to ask about doubling your gift. Know that your kindness and generosity is appreciated by countless families in our community.

To make an online gift, please write “Fan Club” in the comments section.To make a gift via mail, please send a check or money order payable to Caritas of Waco to 300 South 15th Street, Waco, TX 76701. Please write “Fan Club” in the comments section.

Hani Michael Annabi Named Texas Tech University System Student Regent

Hani Michael Annabi is a fourth-year medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, where he serves as Medical Student Council President for the Class of 2023.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Hani Michael Annabi as the student regent for the Texas Tech University System (TTU System) Board of Regents for the 2022-23 academic year, Abbott’s office announced today (June 8).

Annabi, originally from Trenton, New Jersey and a high school graduate from Coronado High School in El Paso, is a fourth-year medical student at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Annabi becomes the 17th student to serve on the Board of Regents and just the second student from TTUHSC El Paso (Jeremy W. Stewart, 2016-17).

“I am incredibly proud of Hani for his appointment to this prestigious position with the TTU System Board of Regents,” said TTUHSC President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. “He is a reflection of the hardworking, talented students at TTUHSC El Paso, and his accomplishments at the Foster School of Medicine have well-prepared him to share his leadership skills and passion for our university system and the communities it serves.”

Annabi was a Dean’s List recipient while earning his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated in 2015 with a degree in natural sciences from the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences. He remained at Johns Hopkins earning a Master of Global Business Administration with a concentration in health administration in 2017 from the Carey Business School, and he earned a Master of Science in biophysics and physiology from Georgetown University in 2018.

Annabi was a four-year letterwinner on the Johns Hopkins football team (2011-14) where he helped lead the Blue Jays to four consecutive Centennial Conference championships, a 41-5 overall record and four straight trips to the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs.

In 2015, Annabi was recognized as an inductee into the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, which is presented yearly to student-athletes across the country for their work in the classroom and football field.

Annabi has played an integral role in community service activities and leadership roles among the student population at TTUHSC El Paso. Since 2019, he has served as a teaching assistant providing curriculum and principles in physiology and pathology to medical students at the Foster School of Medicine.

Annabi was a student coordinator for two years (2020-21) helping organize fundraising events and raising awareness on behalf of the Movember Foundation focusing on research for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

“I want to welcome Hani as our student regent and congratulate him on this appointment,” said Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., chancellor of the TTU System. “This is an exciting opportunity for Hani where he can provide impactful leadership and develop as a servant leader for more than 63,000 students across our five institutions of Texas Tech University System. I look forward to working closely with Hani during his tenure on the board.”

Annabi is currently involved with numerous professional and student organizations, including the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

In addition to his participation with the Movember Foundation, Annabi spent time as a volunteer business consultant with Innova Healthcare in Hyderebad, India, and the Johns Hopkins Department of Physiology; where he was a student volunteer with Be The Match; and was the founder of the Wheel-2-Win organization during his time on the Georgetown University campus.

Annabi will serve a one-year term, effective June 1 and set to expire on May 31, 2023. His first Board of Regents meeting will take place Aug. 11-12 on the campus of Angelo State University (ASU) in San Angelo, Texas. He replaces Keaghan Holt of ASU, who was appointed in 2021.

About the Texas Tech University System 
Established in 1996, the Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the nation, consisting of five universities – Texas Tech UniversityTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterAngelo State UniversityTexas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and Midwestern State University.

Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the TTU System is a $2.5 billion enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach with approximately 21,000 employees, more than 63,000 students, nearly 370,000 alumni and an endowment valued at $1.7 billion. In its short history, the TTU System has grown tremendously and is nationally acclaimed, operating at 24 academic locations in 21 cities (19 in Texas, 2 international).

During the 87th Texas Legislature under the leadership of Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., the TTU System welcomed MSU Texas as its fifth member institution during the 25-year anniversary of the system. MSU Texas is the only Texas university to become a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Students at MSU Texas choose from more than 60 majors and several pre-professional programs, are active in more than 100 student organizations and bring a spirit of competition to 13 NCAA Division II athletics programs.

In addition, the TTU System is one of only nine in the nation to offer programs for undergraduate, medical, law, nursing, pharmacy, dental and veterinary education, among other academic areas.

For TTU System news and updates, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube – @TTUSystem.

CONTACT:  Scott Lacefield, executive director of media relations & communications, Office of the Chancellor, Texas Tech University System, (806) 742-0012 or [email protected]

New Fitness Program at YMCA

Enhance Fitness is a 16-week program created to help those with arthritis and other health needs improve cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility and balance. The class meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30-2:30pm at the Greater Waco YMCA. All participants are able to do exercises either seated or standing. Cost is free to YMCA members and $75 for Community Members. Classes begin on June 15. Please call 254-776-6612 or come by the YMCA to register. For more information, reach out to Carla Browning or Crystal Hernandez at 254-776-6612

MPO Policy Board Meeting Notice—Thursday, June 16, 2022, 2PM

The Policy Board of the Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization will meet on Thursday, June 16, 2022, at the South Waco Community Center, 2815 Speight Avenue in Waco at 2:00 PM. This meeting will be open to the public.

Members of the public must attend in person. Public comments will only be accepted in person, and the meeting link will not be posted online. The meeting room will be arranged for physical distancing of Board members, staff, and the public.  The meeting agenda will be posted to the MPO website 3 days prior to the meeting at

Persons with disabilities who may need auxiliary aids or services should contact the MPO at 254-750-5650 at least twenty-four (24) hours before this meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.


On June 20, 2021, Governor Abbot’s office approved a request by the Office of the Attorney General to lift the suspension of certain provisions of the Texas Open Meetings Act previously required by emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic effective September 1, 2021. This means that as of September 1, 2021, Waco MPO Policy Board meetings must be conducted in full compliance with the Open Meetings Act.

Lemonade Day is coming to Waco!

Help us empower today’s youth to be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs!

Lemonade Day is a free, fun, experiential learning program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate their own business – a lemonade stand. Lemonade Day Waco is August 20th!

The foremost objective of Lemonade Day is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers, and forward thinking citizens of tomorrow.

Each child that registers receives a backpack with an Entrepreneur Workbook that teaches them the 14 lessons of Lemonade Day like creating budgets, setting profit-making goals, serving customers, repaying investors, and giving back to the community. Along the way, they acquire skills in goal-setting, problem solving, and gain self-esteem critical for future success. They keep all the money they make and are encouraged to spend some, save some and share some.

Their mission is to help today’s youth become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow…one lemonade stand at a time! Register now Here!

Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program

What: Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program (a 4-month program to help those with high blood pressure learn to monitor and control their blood pressure.
Where: Tolivar Chapel Missionary Baptist Church
When: 10-11 am on Wednesdays beginning May 25th. 
Who: Open to the public
*Exercise programming to follow at 11 am. Open to all.’

For more information, please contact Crystal Hernandez at [email protected]

Happenings at Greater Waco YMCA

It’s summer time! Below is information regarding kids’ summer classes at the YMCA! For any questions, please reach out to Crystal Hernandez at [email protected]

Kids Art Classes for ages 3-6 will be held on June 13th from 5:30-6:30 at the Greater Waco YMCA. Cost is $15 and registration ends on June 6th. 
Kids Art Classes for ages 6-12 will be held on June 6th from 5:30-6:30pm at the Greater Waco YMCA. Cost is $15 and registration ends on May 31.
Kids Cooking Classes for ages 3-6 will be held on June 15th from 5:30-6:30pm. Registration ends June 8th. Cost is $20 per child.
Kids Cooking Classes for ages 6-12 will be held on June 8th from 5:30-6:30pm. Registration ends on June 1st. Cost is $20 per child.