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To memorialize the 12th anniversary of the tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcement and emergency services personnel, firefighters, and county and city officials gathered for a silent parade in honor of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The parade began at 10 a.m. and started at the fairgrounds, continued down Main Street to the plaza and circled back.
County commissioners presented a proclamation to officials on Monday with our local VFW and County Veterans Service, proclaiming the county’s support in Patriots Day and the parade in honor of the events of 9/11.
As many citizens gather in communities and cities, large and small, all over America, we remember those who answered their call to duty on that day, those who did not return home from work and the families and friends who lost loved ones.
Since that day, many soldiers have served in conflict to maintain our protection domestically.
Although the tragedy was 12 years ago today, it is fresh on the hearts of Americans still. We will never forget those who were lost.
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”
– President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001
By Josh Allen, eParisExtra
The New Hope Center of Paris Women & Children Shelter was the beneficiary of the inaugural Beauty is Ageless Senior Beauty Pageant, held on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at Celebrate It!
Premier Home Care & Hospice created the event with hope to honor the elderly women of the community, celebrate their lives by giving them a special day and, most importantly, raise money to be used at the New Hope Center.
The first Beauty is Ageless event was a huge success, raising thousands of dollars for the New Hope Center, as well as an immeasurable amount of awareness to the organization’s cause and mission.
“On Sunday, Sept. 8, 16 contestants participated in Paris’ first senior beauty pageant to benefit the homeless, and whether they know it or not, they are heroes,” event committee co-chair Josh Allen, said. “If not for those bold women taking that big step to participate, we wouldn’t have had a successful pageant.”
During the pageant, all 16 contestants were given a small gift bag and flowers, but there were four official winners chosen by the judges and awarded — one winner in each of the three categories (best hat/hair, most creative apparel and talent) and an overall winner, named the 2013 Beauty is Ageless Pageant Queen.
“It’s really touching to see how supportive this community can be,” Allen said. “When we went to announce the winners and I looked out from the stage and saw the room completely filled to capacity, the crowd attentive, anticipating who would be named the queen of the pageant, I thought to myself, ‘I bet these ladies, in this moment, feel like superstars.’”
With standing room only at Celebrate It!, Irmgard Allen, the 88-year-old German contestant, took the stage to accept the overall grand prize as the queen.
As the custom tiara was placed on her head, the grand prize trophy in her hand, and the Beauty is Ageless sash around her shoulder, Allen waved to her captive audience.
“Thank you. Thank you,” she said happily as she waved in response to the many cheers.
Taking home the top prize in the best hat/hair category was 97-year-old Christina Barnett, of Bonham.
Dee Smith, 75, from Blossom, impressed the judges with an elegant dress and was named winner of the most creative apparel category.
With a handmade walking puppet named George, 73-year-old Jessie Martin, of Deport, was named winner of the talent round, after an entertaining and comical puppet routine that kept the crowd laughing.
Martin, who hand crafts puppets, which are controlled with sticks and strings and are about as big as a medium sized dog, can make them do just about anything — from dancing and walking, to shaking its head or waving its hand.
“When I heard this pageant was a fundraiser for the women and children’s shelter,” Jessie Martin said to the audience, “I decided to make a puppet to give to the New Hope Center, and he can walk and dance too!”
Although in the end Martin won the talent round hands down, the judges certainly had a tough job deciding which talent was best after watching the contestants — they sang, played harmonica, piano and omni chord, and read poems.
The event was sponsored, designed and hosted by Premier Home Care & Hospice.
“We wanted to give back to those we serve every day,” Premier Home Care & Hospice administrator Chris Johnson said. “It is important to our organizations to give back to this community and to the elderly population.”
“When we brought the New Hope Center into it and decided to donate the proceeds to them the vision of honoring elderly women in an attempt to give back to younger women and their children became clear,” Johnson said. “This event became a passion to all of us at Premier.”
Sheriff Scott Cass served as master of ceremonies for the afternoon, keeping things rolling for the participants.
“I asked Sheriff Cass to be the master of ceremonies for the pageant to introduce the ladies, speak a little, keep things flowing, and without any hesitation he took the job and really put the icing on the cake for the event,” Allen said. “I really believe it wouldn’t have been the same without him, and it was certainly an honor to have the sheriff as our emcee for the first year.”
Overall, Premier was able to raise just under $3,000 to give to the New Hope Center.
However, in a true spirit of benevolence, according to the New Hope Center board president Kimberly Fasken, an anonymous check was given to the organization on Sunday in the amount of $10,000.
Cass shared his excitement about the afternoon and his involvement in the project.
“What an idea, what an event. To bring all these people together to hear about the New Hope Center and what they do, to see these ladies have such a good time and be honored in this way; it was really a wonderful thing,” he said.
By Josh Allen, eParisExtra
The Awana program will begin on Wednesday, August 28, with a Back to School Bash in the church’s gym from 6-7:30 p.m.
You can register at the info center or the church office.
Awana is an international evangelical ministry founded in 1950 in Illinois. The word ‘Awana’ was derived from the first letters of ‘Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed’, from 2 Timothy 2:15.
Awana cofounder Art Rorheim said in his bio, “If you’re to win kids to the Lord, they’ve got to have fun!” With that concept in mind, it is the mission of Awana to help parents and churches raise children and youth to know, love and serve Christ.
Awana is a nondenominational program and licenses materials and programs to churches all over the world.
East Paris Baptist Church is located at 725 N Collegiate Drive. Visit www.EastParis.org for more information.
The Paris Bikers Church will provide a free, all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast on Saturday at 8 a.m.
Special guest speaker, David Heart, of Circle C Ranch in Detroit, Texas will give a presentation at the event.
A motorcycle is not required, and all men are welcome. The event is free to attendees.
A women’s brunch will follow at 10:30 a.m.
The Paris Bikers Church is located at 3910 Southeast Loop 286.
The Paris Biker’s Church invites everyone to its three events on Saturday, July 20, starting with a mens’ breakfast and ladies’ brunch, then ending with an outside church service in the evening.
All three events are free and a motorcycle is not required.
The mens’ breakfast will be at 8 a.m. It will feature a special guest speaker while pancakes and sausage are served.
Following the breakfast, there will be a ladies’ R & R Pot Luck brunch starting at 10:30 a.m. Both the mens’ breakfast and the ladies’ brunch will be at the Paris Biker’s Church, 3910 SE Loop 286.
From 7-9 p.m. the church will present an open air service called ‘Outside the Walls’ with a message from Bro. Ronny Ross. Free hotdogs will be served while supplies last.
The outside service will be held in the parking lot of the Evening Side Apartments, 750 Bonham Street.
Everyone is invited to all three events, and they are all free.