Food, music and art come together for a downtown soiree Saturday

�1st Annual Blues, Roots & Jazz Fest� will benefit Teen Court

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

July 12, 2007 - Downtown will come alive Saturday evening with food and music, as well as art for public consumption and enjoyment.

The Teen Court 1st Annual Blues, Roots & Jazz Fest begins with food and art at Blue Mountain Cafe and music from area entertainers. Also, a silent auction and art exhibit is being coordinated by Texas Art & Frame.

Reservations to ensure diners of a table to enjoy one of three cuisines and soak up the local culture beginning at 6 p.m. are available but not required. RSVPs, however, will help event planners better prepare.

All tips to wait staff and entertainers are being donated to Teen Court, and donations are also accepted. Funds raised through the event will help Teen Court purchase a sound system which they can transport to any of the local court facilities for use during their monthly meetings.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with food and art, which will continue until 9 p.m. Saturday. Entertainment will also begin at 6 p.m. and continue until 10 p.m.

"This will be a fun thing to do, in a place with atmosphere," said June Lucky, one of the Teen Court board members coordinating the fest. "Defendants needing to perform community service will be allowed to wait tables  and to help set up and take down. Merit Club members also will be working, earning scholarship points."

The menu at Blue Fountain Cafe, owned by Hank and Sarah Smith and managed by David Woody, for the night includes gumbo/etouffee, a Cuban sandwich, or muffeletas, pulled pork and Kingston sandwiches. The restaurant is located at 204 Church St.

There will also be homemade desserts, French-pressed coffee, tea and soft drinks, a fine accompaniment to the art displays and the stirring jazz and blues sounds from Johnny C. Lately, Enola Gay and Bob Armstrong, Lindale Robinson, James Duran, the group which includes Jeff Smith and Loren Seely, as well as other local artists on the sidewalk outside.

Among the featured artists whose work will be displayed and available for sale in the art show outside the cafe will be Jerry Lee, Nely DeBoer, Barbara Shelton and Richard Rhodes Jr. of Yantis.

Rhodes is a new area artist, a photographer and print maker who learned of the Teen Court fundraiser when bringing in prints to be stretched at  Texas Art and Frame, and wanted to be a contributor. He told Vicki Lee at the shop that he served on Teen Court decades ago in Fort Worth and wanted to help the local group, according to Lee who is coordinating the art show and silent auction.

Some of the artists will also be on hand to greet the public, and a portion of the commission for any sales will be donated to Teen Court. Local businesses have also donated some items for the silent auction, including a gift certificate to Plain & Fancy Sandwich Shop, at least one of Rhodes' works and a framed Western print from Texas Art & Frame.

In the event of bad weather, an alternate location for the music has been designated at First United Methodist Church, and the art can be displayed at Texas Art & Frame, according to Lucky.

"It's a good thing to help the kids in the community out," Lee said. "It's a good opportunity for people to see our local artists, positive influences for kids. Blue Fountain already has entertainment every Friday. We hope to have more events like this with even more artists."

To make reservations or for more information, call June Lucky at 903-885-7851, ext. 222, or call 903-485-4981 fr reservations. Those who would like to make a tax deductible donation to Teen Court may send them to: P.O. Box 1113, Sulphur Springs, TX 75483.

Teen Court is the longest continually operating  Adult Leadership Class Project. Each month of the year, approximately 100 volunteer teens of Hopkins County gather to learn more about the judicial system and serve their community by holding teen offenders accountable for their actions. They learn valuable leadership skills that they can carry with them into any profession.

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