Seadrift Third Graders:
Toy Runners Win the Race!
The POC Toy Run and Lighted Boat Parade is an annual tradition as unique and as special as our community itself. But, if you have not participated, it is quite a different from most toy drives, especially for a town this size. Many are not prepared for the generosity and abundance of toys brought in by the boats for Toy Run. Ordinary business guys, fishing and boating enthusiasts and kind POC supporters bring literally thousands of toys in on their boats whatever the weather, and donate them to kids and families in the POC and Calhoun County area. Simple fishing boats and high dollar yachts motor in filled with toys and good cheer for families they will never meet. They pride themselves on no boat and no toy left behind, whatever the weather or challenges. Disadvantaged, homeless, foster, challenged, troubled and other kids who would not have a Christmas are the beneficiaries of this offering which includes toys for every age from infant to teens. Toys of every description from bikes and balls, fishing poles and camping gear to dolls and dishes, books and building sets, art sets and educational games are cheerfully donated by those boaters, their families, friends and customers. Some have a raffle or auction to raise the money for toy purchases. Some take donations or hold fundraisers. Many simply give from their abundance and the generosity of their hearts.
The toys arrive and are unloaded by local volunteers coordinated by Marie Hawes and her crew of helpers. They did an amazing job of assembly lining and soon those toys were loaded on to trailers that take them to the POC Community Center. There they are sorted and categorized for gifting by POC Angel Tree to local children. Other local and neighboring service organizations such as foster caregivers, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s projects for kids, homeless and disadvantage kids, shelter kids and their families then benefit from the abundance of the remaining toy run donations. The committee does a great job of selecting chosen and appropriate gifts for all POC Angel Tree recipients first and then reaching out to meet the Christmas wants and needs of other children in and near our area. It is an impressive display of bounty and big heartedness. It was really a treat to be a part of such a special event.
The fun extends beyond the toys and their gifting though. The Toy Run boat captains know how to make the work of donation into a celebration. They have a poker run, crazy music, costumes, T-shirts, elf ears, and other hilarity as they bring the toys down from the Clear Lake area. They enjoy their POC visit with impromptu parties, a lovely dinner offered this year by our very own POC Chamber of Commerce, and culminating with participation in the POC Lighted Boat Parade. Mary Jo Walker and a slew of workers put out a delicious spread for the Toy Run Boaters. Good Job Guys! Jeremy Dye, Virgil and others graciously helped out one captain whose boat got a little too up close and personal with one of our oyster reefs at the expense of his props, and locals pitched in to make the toy runners feel welcome. The boat parade was beautiful and loads of fun. An experience unique to coastal life and really like no other, it sets off the holiday season in a special way. It is hard to describe what makes our hometown so different unless you have experienced it. So, thanks to all those who were a part. Whether you volunteered, cooked, helped or just enjoyed the parade; you are the twinkle in our tinsel and the jingle in our bells. Have a Merry Merry Christmas and we will see you in the New Year!
Thanks to all who entered the Lighted Boat Parade. All 25 boats were beautifully decorated and many included music and singing. In the opinion of many, it was the best boat parade ever!
Thanks to Pam Stryker and Bill Tigrett for taking photos.
2014 Boat Parade Winners
Best Overall Cass Coroiescu of Conroe
“Abigail Renee” 29 Pro-Kat
Most Spirited Jimmy Hall of Hitchcock
“Wet Dream” 34 Yellow Fin
Most Unique Hunter Junek of Port O’Connor
“Oyster Lugger” 36 Oyster Boat
Best Large Colton Pratka of El Campo
“Triple Threat” 36 CC
Best Medium Jerry Karnes of Houston
“Slightly Dangerous” 30 CC
Best Small Peyton Martin of Richmond
“Cavallo Cooler” 23 Harris Pontoon
Commissioners Court has requested that we have a meeting to obtain a record of support for the pavilion and basketball court location at King Fisher Park. Before we can move forward and get final approval we must have a show of support for our proposed location. Please plan to attend this meeting so we can finalize and get this new pavilion in place before our tourist season 2015.
Place: Community Center
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Mary Jo Walker, President,
Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce
At the December 2 meeting, Seadrift City Councilman Wesley Hunt announced his resignation effective December 30, 2014. Newly elected as Justice of the Peace, Mr. Hunt will assume his new duties on January 1, 2015.
City residents interested in serving on the Council should apply at City Hall by December 30, 2014. Applicants will be required to fill out a standard application and may include a resume or other pertinent information. Applicants must attend the January 6 Council Meeting where they will be expected to speak for approximately two minutes and answer any questions that may be put to them. The position will then be filled by a majority vote of the sitting Council members.
In other business, the Council voted to approve a small rate increase for water and sewer for those receiving these services outside the City limits. The increase would be 75 cents more for 3,000 gallons residential water outside the City limits. The mayor explained that this increase has been needed for a while due to having to use contractors instead of City personnel for most repairs done outside the city limits, and the fact that no City taxes are collected in these areas to offset the costs. A detailed chart of the rate increase may be obtained from City Hall.
Council voted to impose a Placement Permit requirement on all RVs placed on private property (excluding RV parks). This permit and the fee of $50 will apply to those RVs placed as temporary living quarters, not for those whose unoccupied RV is stored on their property or used only occasionally for accommodating their home visitors. A copy of this Ordinance RV-01 may be obtained from City Hall.
The monthly Police report was given by Officer Lewis: There were 252 calls for service during the month of November. The calls ranged from information to calls resulting in arrest. There were seven drug-related arrests. Officer Lewis reported 93 traffic stops for the month, resulting in 15 citations.
The Building Permit report was that two permits were issued with a valuation of $11,500.
The Municipal Court reported 15 new cases; 15 closed cases. $2,065.50 in fines was collected, of which $1,280.67 is kept by the City. There are currently 30 cases in progress in the Court.
Animal Control reported 9 dogs picked up and impounded to Port Lavaca; 10 dogs picked up and returned to their owners with Warnings; and one dog picked up and returned to its owner with Tickets. Eighteen verbal/written Warnings were issued. 14 cats were trapped and impounded, as were 10 wild animals. There were two call-out for animals hit by cars. Animal Control found a new home for one dog.