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Two J Ranch raises $28,000 for St. Jude hospital

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Saddle Up and Ride for St. Jude was a huge success, with $28,000 collected at the annual event held Nov. 9 at the Two J Ranch in Como. The auction itself raised about $10,000 to go toward the donation to the research hospital for children.

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Concerts surge for holiday season

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East Texas is gearing up for a month of concerts for the holiday season. Here is a list of major stars and local talent that will be gracing the area the next few weeks: 

  • Crossroads Music Company has invited singer Kirby Brown, with opening act Ryan McKenzie, to perform this week. Brown is a Texas-born song-writer who will perform in the Chamber Listening Room at Sulphur Springs City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.  

“It will probably be a blend of songs that will appear on my new record, songs that appeared on my debut album ‘Child of Calamity,’ some brand  new ones I just wrote and definitely a few from the archives that some of my hometown friends will know,” said Brown. 

Tickets are available for $10 in advance or $15 at the door at City Hall, located at 201 North Davis St. in downtown Sulphur Springs. For more information go to crossroadsmusiccompany.com/store or call 903-342-1854. 

  • Country music star Trace Adkins will be visiting the Greenville Municipal Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. for his Christmas Show. 

“The holidays are my favorite time of year. These shows aren’t just a straight up concert, they’re bigger and more exciting with a 12 piece ensemble,” said Adkins. 

Ticket prices are $44, $59 and $69 and may be purchased at the box office, showtimeatthegma.com  or by calling 877-987-6487.

  • The Northeast Texas Choral Society and Music Director Carol Allen are performing “Once Upon a Christmas,” also on Dec. 6-7 at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center. 

One of the highlights of the evening will be the rendition of “Christmas Dreams.” Allen said the piece is  not only musically complex but will bring a tear to the eye of everyone in the audience.  

“If there is one song that deeply describes Christmas, it would be that song,” Allen said. “If you paid your $10 and came to concert and only heard that one song, you would walk out the door and say you spent the best $10 all Christmas season.” 

The concert will be Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Civic Center. Tickets are $10 in advance for adults and $5 for children or $12 dollars at the door with a special $25 dollar family price. For $25, the family package includes two adult tickets and four children tickets. Allen encouraged everyone to bring as many children as they could for the performances. 

  • Sulphur Springs Independent School District will have their Strings Winter Concert at Sulphur Springs Middle School at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4.  The event will feature grades five through 12 playing holiday favorites. 
 

Symphony auction tonight on radio and channel 18

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It’s finally here. The annual Sulphur Springs Symphony League live auction will be broadcast on KSST radio and Channel 18 Saturday night with dozens of items to bid on throughout the evening. 

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Sulphur Bluff FFA Plans Show Clinic, Chili Cook-off and Feast

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Sulphur Bluff FFA Chapter is planning a full slate of activities Nov. 22 at the school, with a show clinic in the morning and a chili cook-off and feast that afternoon.

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Handicapable Rodeo rides in Friday at Civic Center

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On Friday morning, more than 300 special needs students from around East Texas will get to experience the cowboy life with the Handicapable Rodeo, sponsored by United Professional Rodeo Association. Organizations from around Hopkins County have pitched in to help sponsor the event and to make the day one to be remembered. 

“This weekend is the United Finals Rodeo 58th annual competition and on Friday, we are having the Handicapable Rodeo all morning,” said Hopkins County Rodeo Committee President Oscar Aguilar. “We talked to all the school districts in a 50-mile radius and invited their special needs classes to come to the Civic Center for a day at the rodeo.”

According to Aguilar, Dr. Tony Gene Smith of Hopkins County founded the Handicapable Rodeo and served on the board of directors for years. Aguilar thanked Smith for changing the lives of so many people. 

“He did the right thing by setting up this event for the children in our area. These kids have so much fun every year,” said Aguilar. “Now, many organizations in the city are pitching in to make this day possible.”

Aguilar said he enjoys seeing the children come every year to the rodeo. He has watched children grow up and tries to stay in touch with as many of the special need individuals as he can. 

"I know several people that ask about the rodeo every year want a new rodeo T-shirt. I always invite them to come on out because I know this event is something very special to them,” said Aguilar.  “This year we are having the Charles Sellers Roping Classic.”

The Handicapable Rodeo will hold a presentation in Charles Sellers’ honor for his years of support for the rodeo and his volunteer work with the roping event. Aguilar said that the Sellers family has donated this year to help the Handicapable Rodeo and to honor Charles legacy.

Sulphur Springs High School Key Club members are also pairing up with special needs children to help them see all the events. Sulphur Springs senior Grace Horton said that she has volunteered for the Handicapable Rodeo every year and it has changed her as much as it has been a joy for the children. 

“My freshman year, when I first volunteered, I was nervous to work with the kids,” said Horton. 

Horton said by the end of her first rodeo, she decided to volunteer every year because she learned so much about herself and loved working with the students. 

“In my sophomore year, I was assigned a kindergartener. He was one of my mom’s patients and I really wanted to work with him. When I got him, I knew he was not very verbal but that day he would not stop talking about how happy he was and how much fun he had on the hay ride,” said Horton.  “Once I got in there and I figured out what to do, it was an absolutely amazing experience. I have learned how to accomodate others but many times these student help you more than you could ever realize.” 

Students will arrive on Friday morning 8 a.m. at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center and be paired with their Key Club partner.  Volunteers will pass out official UFR T-shirts, sponsored by Luminant, and the children will get to line up at their first event. The students will have all morning to experience hay rides, covered wagons, a mini-train, horseback riding, roping courses, face painting, petting zoo and other small games.  At noon, lunch will be provided by Pizza Inn, Grocery Supply Company and Oceanspray. Around 1:30 p.m. the children will load their buses to go back to school.was nervous to work with the kids,” said Horton. 

Horton said by the end of her first rodeo she volunteer every year because she learned so much about herself and loved working with the students. 

“In my sophomore year, I was assigned a kindergardener. He was one of my Mom’s patients and I really wanted to work with him. When I got him, I knew he was not very verbal but that day he would not stop talking about how happy he was and how much fun he had on the hay ride,” said Horton.  “Once I got in there I figured out what to do, it was an absolutely amazing experience. I have learned how to accomodate others but many times these student help you more than you could ever realize.” 

Students will arrive on Friday morning 8 a.m. at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center and be paired with their Key Club partner.  Volunteers will pass out official UFR tee-shirt, sponsored by Luminant, and the children will get to line up at their first event. The students will have all morning to experience hay rides, covered wagons, a mini-train, horseback riding, roping courses, face painting, petting zoo and other small games.  At noon, lunch will be provided by Pizza Inn, Grocery Supply Company and Oceanspray. Around 1:30 p.m. the children we be loaded on their buses and send back to the schools. 

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