Saturday, August 6 was a busy day for the city of Lumberton. As families were busy shopping and preparing for their children returning to school on this tax-free shopping weekend; there were some fun events going on in the community.
Altus Emergency Center hosted its third annual Back-to-School event called “Tools 4 School”. Lumberton staff arranged for vendors to supply free
haircuts (Southeast Texas Career Institute), dental exams (Dental Square), vision screenings (Wal-Mart Vision Center) and low-cost vaccines (Travelvax, no cost to Medicaid/CHIPS) and a blood drive (Lifeshare). The event raised money for Caring Hearts, which provides school supplies for area students in need. In addition, Altus staff has adopted the 27 high school students Caring Hearts had sign up for supplies, and will be donating backpacks with all of their needed supplies next week. “Our priority is to care for our community, and that extends past the doors of our emergency rooms. The areas we serve have truly embraced and supported us, and we strive to repay that.” – Kevin Herrington, president of Altus Emergency Centers.
In addition to the vendor services offered to families, there were plenty of enjoyable activities at this event. Animals were a big hit with the children. Gator County brought a snake and small alligator to entertain the crowd. The Beaumont Police Department brought a dog named Joris from their K-9 unit. He is a 5 year old Belgium Malinois and one of four dogs currently in the unit.
Vendors were set up under a large tent providing face painting, raffles, and games. There were Park Rangers representing Big Thicket National Preserve and educating attendees about what the park has to offer; particularly the 40 miles of hiking trails to explore. The 4-H club offered a chance to learn more about the organization, sign up to join, and play some fun games for prizes. Neches Federal Credit Union was conducting an hourly drawing for a backpack filled with school supplies. Representatives from The American Cancer Society were there to promote their relay that will take place in September.
During the Altus festival and throughout the afternoon, Lumberton ISD had several students volunteering at local businesses for the “Bust the Bus” School Supplies Drive. At Wal-Mart, Lumberton High School cheerleaders were spending their day asking shoppers to donate school supplies. They were able to collect a significant amount of supplies as well as monetary donations. Several students in the Lumberton High School Band were volunteering their time at Market Basket. When asked why he decided to volunteer for this particular opportunity, one of the students, Cameron, said “If I was in that position I would definitely want the help.” In addition to the high school band, the Lumberton Middle School Band served the community by setting up at Walgreen’s. The Raiderettes could also be seen braving the heat to participate in the school supply drive at some of those locations. The donations go to Lumberton ISD with the goal of ensuring that all LISD students have the tools they need for school. LISD students return to school on Monday, August 22.