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“Sweetheart Banquet” Gone, But Not Forgotten

Archived in the category: General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 19 Jan 17 - 0 Comments

For the past 21 years, many folks in Port O’Connor and the surrounding area have looked forward each February to a gala evening celebrating Valentine’s Day in style at the Annual Sweetheart Banquet. It was a time to dress up, enjoy entertainment and a fine dinner with your “sweetheart”, or by yourself, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Regrettably, the Sweetheart Banquet has come to an end.

To produce a banquet like this takes a lot of people. Advertising, design and print tickets and program printing, entertainment selection, ticket sales, purchase of foods, decorations and supplies – decorating, cooking, serving, and cleaning up – this is not a small task.

This work was done primarily by members of Port O’Connor’s First Baptist Church. As time has passed, the core volunteer group has declined due to age and health issues, and at a recent church meeting, it was decided that it was no longer possible to handle this work load, so the event has been cancelled.
The first “Sweetheart Banquet” was held in 1995 in the Baptist’s Church’s new fellowship hall. Doyle Adams and his wife, Bernice, decorated the hall and did most of the cooking. Wanting to hold the cost down so most anyone could afford it, they only charged $5 for a steak dinner.

That first banquet was attended by 55 people. It was such a success, that many others began attending, and in 2,000, the event was moved to the new Port O’Connor Community Center. Gratefully, the Center did not charge for its use. Limited by the Fire Code, the banquet was always a “sell out” with 200+ attendees.

Deciding that citizens who have done extraordinary service to the community should be honored, the Sweetheart Committee began in 2000, naming their “Citizens of the Year”. The first awards were given to Fire Chief Ed Lambright and EMS Brenda Smith. Over the years, the following awards were presented:

2001 – Margaret Jennings & Joyce Rhyne (Dolphin Talk); 2002 – Evelyn Lewis
2003 – Lucille & Edna Whittaker; 2004 – Grady Jean & Kenneth Clark
2005 – Marie Hawes; 2006 – Kathy Yearwood & Wanda Redding
2007 – Agnes Valigura; 2008 – Tom & Pat Ekstrom
2009 – Naomi Albright & Bob Allen; 2010 – Bill Tigrett
2011 – Silvia Martinez, EMS; 2012 – Shirley Gordon (POC Librarian)
2013 – Nancy Pomykal (Justice of the Peace); 2014 – Judy Anderson
2015 – Jim & Diane Cooley; 2016 – Erny & Joane McDonough

Through the years, various themes were selected for the banquet: Love Me Tender, Love Letters in the Sand, Fabulous Fifties, Getting the Scoop on Love, Mardri Gras Celebration, and Gun Fight at the OK Corral, to name a few. Entertainment ranged from local musicians to Barbershop Quartets, Mariachis, Gospel, and the Boogie Woogie Babes.

In addition to door prizes, special recognition was given to couples married 50 years or longer and a special gift was presented to the couple married the longest. A gift was also awarded to the couple married the least amount of time.

A highlight of the Banquet was when all the attendees would sing together, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”. So here’s a chorus to you, Mr. Doyle Adams, for bringing the Sweetheart Banquet to us all these years!

Bernice and Doyle Adams, Originators of the Sweetheart Banquet

Bernice and
Doyle Adams,
Originators of the Sweetheart Banquet

Seadrift Sets Election Date

Archived in the category: Announcements, General Info, Organizations
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 19 Jan 17 - 0 Comments
Gabriela Torres, Secretary, City of Seadrif

Gabriela Torres,
Secretary, City of Seadrift

May 6, 2017 has been set for the election to fill three positions on Seadrift City Council. These positions are currently held by June Cantrell, Buddy Cross, and Geoffrey Hunt. Anyone wishing to file for a place on the ballot should do so during regular City Hall hours. The last day to place your name on the ballot is Friday, February 17, 2017. Early voting will be from April 24 through May 2, also at City Hall.

At the January 3 Meeting, Council authorized immediate repairs to the Bayfront Park electrical and lighting system and immediate repair of any concrete damage and the replacement of hand rails on the east handicapped ramp.

The need for these repairs was necessitated by recent automobile accidents. Shortly after midnight, New Year’s Eve, a vehicle was speeding south on 6th Street and failed to stop. It crashed into the primary electrical distribution box and continued over the handicapped ramp taking the rails and damaging the ramp and took out one of the seven light poles just west of the pier and water faucet, and came to stop several feet from the edge of the seawall. Payment for these repairs will be made from the Hotel/Motel Fund, should it become necessary – pending reimbursement from Subject Vehicle’s insurance Company.

This is the second vehicle accident in this location in two months, the last on Thanksgiving, which took out one of the concrete tables beneath a cover east of the Pavilion. The City was in the process of arranging to move several concrete barriers to set up at the Bayfront to be placed in hopes of reducing and/or eliminating just this sort of thing when the second accident occurred.

Council also authorized the placement of concrete barriers at A.D. Powers Bayfront Park with appropriate signage at intersections of 3rd & Bay, 4th & Bay, 6th & Bay and 9th & Bay and pay for from Hotel/Motel Tax Fund.

Mayor DeForest announced that security at City Hall has been updated and improved thanks to the generosity of individuals who wish to remain anonymous.
The minutes of this meeting were taken by Gabriela Torres, who has been serving as Interim Secretary since the retirement, after 21 years of service, of City Secretary Paula Moncrief. Gabriela, who has been employed as Assistant City Clerk for the past two years, is a 2012 graduate of Calhoun High and the daughter of Guadalupe and Alvaro Torres of Seadrift,

Port O’Connor Chamber Chat by LaJune Pitonyak

Archived in the category: Fishing Reports
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 19 Jan 17 - 0 Comments

When the last Chamber Chat was printed, the Annual Christmas Party was being planned by Mrs. Joanie Morgan. On December 12th, Joanie produced a fantastic outing. Held at the Sanctuary on a beautiful evening, it was one of the best Christmas Parties. We really enjoyed the music of the band, and the food and fellowship was just great. If you were unable to attend, make plans for this year. Joanie, the Chamber appreciates what you and your helpers accomplished.

The officers for 2017 have been elected. They are: President, Darla Parker; Vice- President, Mary Jo Walker; Treasurer, Dawn Ragusin and Secretary, Donna Vuichard; Directors: Laurie Junek, Ronna Fishbeck, Troy Wygrys, Donnie Haynes, Mary Francis Bauer and John Reneau. Thanks goes out to these ten people for volunteering their time and efforts for our community.

Plans for the 5th Annual Crawfish Festival are in the works. All involved are gearing up for the biggest and best Festival. Headlining this year will be Josh Ward; the date is April 29th, 2017, so start making your plans and reservations.

The 2017 calendar of Chamber sponsored events: Memorial Day Kids Fishing Tournament & Annual Kite Flying Contest–May 27th, 2017; Annual Fireworks Display–July 1,2017; Lighted Boat Parade on the ICW-December 2nd; Annual Chamber Christmas Party-December 8th.

If you would like to get involved with any of these projects as volunteers, or any other reason, you are welcome and needed, just contact us and we will find something for you to do.

Our next meeting will be February 13th, 6:30 p.m. in the Port O’Connor Community Center. Come out and get involved.

New and Renewed Members:
Lone Star Boat Storage
Dawn Ragusin
Port O’Connor Country Club Condominium Assoc

Contact the Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce at: 361-983-2898; or

Save The Date

Mark your calendars now!  April 29, 2017, Port O’Connor’s 5th Annual Crawfish Fest & Cook-off will be happening right here in our community.  Plans are coming along, and this year’s Fest will be the best yet! The music lineup is over the top….. Headlining our Festival will be Texas’ very own County star, Josh Ward. With his current #1 single, Broken Heart, this puts Josh on the Texas charts with eight #1 hits. Also playing. are The Stringbenders, with their classic country and zydeco music, and a little rock and roll.

Many don’t realize that it takes about 100 volunteers to pull off an event like this. Since this is the Chamber’s largest fundraising event, we need all the help we can muster up. Right now we are working on sponsorships and donations. Also, now is the time for cookers and vendors to get signed up.  Visit the Chamber website at for sponsorship information, vendor apps, and cooker registration.  If you would to be involved, please contact Darla Parker at 713-857-0482 or Mary Jo Walker at 361-920-4247.

Go put this on your calendar now… Save the date!  Also, follow us on Facebook at POC Crawfish Fest and Cook-off for all the latest updates…. Share it with all your friends!!

Island Life… by Clint Bennetsen

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, General Info, Island Life
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 19 Jan 17 - 0 Comments

Life Is Precious

Greetings from the island everyone.  I hope all of you are doing well and enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.  Corky and I ventured across the bay the week prior, and met the family and my two aunts, Lila and Joyce, at Montana Mikes for our annual Christmas lunch.  And then Christmas day my sister, Sherry, hosted a small gathering at her house in Seadrift.  It’s rare that I run across the bay that often, but family and close friends are always the exception.
And of course the night of Christmas Eve,  friends came out and we enjoyed a nice bonfire on the beach.  Those beach bonfires are beginning to be a must-have occurrence on Saturday nights when the weather cooperates.  I’m having to venture further down the beach each time to find a sufficient amount of driftwood, but I’m guessing there’s still enough for a dozen or so bonfires.

And speaking of Christmas, I caught the St. Nick spirit this year, (and was jealous of Kim’s lights), so next Christmas I’m bringing it to the island by way of hundreds of lights and decorations. . . I’m talking Chevy Chase – Christmas Vacation style.  Be looking from POC, I’m certain you’ll be able to see the display on the cabin from there!

One of my enjoyable times is heading to the Big Jetties and watching the gulf shrimp boats and tankers heading inbound and outbound.  Seeing the bottle-nosed dolphins leaping out of the water near the bow of the tankers as it plows thru the jetties, throwing huge wakes that crash onto the granite rocks.  I noticed from the location of port names on the stern of the tankers, that a lot of them originate in Belgium, which is 5,114 miles (I googled it), from Texas. Now THAT’S a boat ride!

Well, a few weeks ago winter made a rare appearance on the island, as well as everywhere else.  Waking up to a temp of 27 degrees with a wind chill of 12. . . that’s right, 12 degrees!, was not expected.  Corky and Jetty had never experienced it so cold out here, and I hadn’t either in many years.  Heck, even the chickens water was frozen!  That’s just not right on a barrier island.  But we made it through, and as I write this, temps are back to nearly 80 degrees.  Welcome to south Texas.
Sadly, during that same hard blowing cold norther, three young men, avid duck hunters doing what they loved, lost their lives when their boat capsized in the very rough Matagorda Bay waters.  Life is so very precious, and it can be taken away at anytime.  My motto since building this cabin 17 years ago, and it is etched in the porch concrete, has been “Enjoy Life”. .  always appreciate what you have and those you love.

On January 10, I ventured across the bay to attend the funeral of Bits Braudaway in Kenedy, TX.  I did not know Bits personally, but I am very good friends of his son and daughter-in-law, Britt and Susan.  An excellent indication of a persons character and how they were perceived and loved, is their family and the friends they keep and/or kept.  Bits Braudaway was of the highest character and truly loved.  A real man and a Marine.  He will be missed but never forgotten.  Continued prayers for his wife, Margie, and family.

That’s it from the island for now.  Take notice of the updated photo of Corky and me; that dog is growing so fast.  Everyone take care and have a great day.

Clint & Corky

Clint & Corky

Clint & Susan with Santa on Christmas Eve

Clint & Susan with Santa on Christmas Eve

2017 Leaders Plan Excitng Events at the Port O’Connor Library

Archived in the category: General Info, Organizations
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 19 Jan 17 - 0 Comments

Sheryl Haynes and Roxanne Ochoa will lead the Student Advisory Board of the Friends of the Port O’Connor Library Board into the new year. They are making plans which will include movies and games at the library, a bake sale, and an ice cream social throughout the upcoming months of 2017. These beautiful women teach school all day, go home and take care of their families at night, and still make time to support the efforts to provide activities through The POC Library. Our Student Advisory Board is very important to the success in building a new library for Port O’Connor.

Many thanks to Sheryl and Roxanne!                         -Joanie Morgan

Sheryl Haynes

Sheryl Haynes

Roxanne Ochoa

Roxanne Ochoa

Friends of the Port O’Connor Library Student Advisory Council:

POC Elementary Representatives Grades 1 – 5:

Landy Resendiz; Audrey Rhoads
Aubrey, Ragusin; Nicholas Ragusin
Gracie O’Shields; Landon Jones
Bryon Ferrell; Emily Ferrell
Lyric Lopez; Antonio Gloria
Alexandra Mallory; McKenna Guevara
Annabelle Thurman; Matthew Stapp

Jr. and Sr. High Student Council have been chosen and will be meeting soon to plan their activities for the remainder school year.

Friends of Port O’Connor Library Student Advisory Council Christmas Party

Friends of Port O’Connor Library Student Advisory Council
Christmas Party

Student Advisory Council Meeting/Party
By Brooklyn Redmond

In December, the members of the Student Advisory Council to the Port O’Connor Friends of the Library met at the current Port O’Connor Library.

Our club dedicates their time to raising money to build a new library here in town. Our club consists of members of all ages starting at the age of four.

We had a lot of fun at this meeting. First, the kids played Christmas bingo. One of the adults called out the cards while the kids played and used their M&M’s as markers.

After that, we painted rocks for a new popular activity called, Port O’ Connor Rocks! Each member painted as many rocks as they wanted, and then they took them home to hide them. We also got to meet some new members as well as hang out with existing ones.

This coming year is going to be a great year, and I have a feeling we are going to make a great impact! I can’t wait!

Movies start at 10:00 a.m.

Movies start at 10:00 a.m.

Untitled Document Visit Lone Star Boat Storage