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BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa grows as anchor in community

first_imgHome Local News BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa grows as anchor in community OC employee of the year always learning Twitter 1 of 2 By admin – June 10, 2018 Grustle’s Codye Hatcher (23) drives towards the basket against Talkin Heads during the annual Juneteenth Basketball Tournament June 16, 2017 at the Odessa College Sports Center. Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Santi Medrano, 10, attempts a dunk on one of the jumpers set up at last year’s Juneteenth celebration at Woodson Park. 2021 SCHOOL HONORS: Permian High School center_img ECISD undergoing ‘equity audit’ Previous articleCommissioners to appoint new county judgeNext articleFinding work is easy, but not childcare admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Local News BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa grows as anchor in community Codye Hatcher’s three little daughters are getting old enough, now, to where they can go running off in the park on their own on a weekend like this one.They know everybody they see now, Hatcher said, as they bounce around the familiar faces and festivities, and even at six years old and younger, they know what they’re in for even before they get there.“They look forward to it as much as I do myself,” he laughed.The annual Juneteenth Celebration in Odessa has become a family affair for Hatcher and his girls, just as it has for so many members of the West Texas community — and the festivities are set to gear up again this weekend for four days of fun starting Friday. Santi Medrano, 10, attempts a dunk on one of the jumpers set up at last year’s Juneteenth celebration at Woodson Park. Facebook The Black Cultural Council of Odessa is in its 21st year organizing its event that coincides with the annual holiday, which commemorates June 19, 1865, the day the slow-moving news of the Confederacy’s surrender two months earlier finally reached Texas, emancipating slaves in the state.The BCCO’s Juneteenth Celebration is set to feature musical performances, picnics, food vending, a pageant, a parade, its long-running annual basketball tournament, and more, centered in Woodson Park and sprawling out across locations throughout Odessa, June 15-17 and June 19.“It’s special for the community,” Hatcher said, speaking over the phone last week, knowing what it can mean for a young family in West Texas, and looking forward to returning to the court for another year in the tournament and spending more relaxing time out at the park.“It brings everybody back together.”And this year, the BCCO’s event is bigger than ever.Jo Ann Davenport Littleton, BCCO board member, said the event is attracting more vendors this year, and that it has seen an uptick in local businesses sponsoring food and giveaways and the like.Musical acts in the styles of gospel, soul, hip hop and more line the weekend’s schedule for the stage at Woodson Park, where food trucks and vendors from all around will be available, and events like Saturday’s parade on Dixie Boulevard, a comedy act at Blackshear’s auditorium, and the basketball tournament at the Odessa College Sports Center bring the celebration spilling out across Odessa.Admission is free for events throughout the celebration. For a full schedule, visit OdessaBCC.org.“To be a part of the organization, to be a part of the celebration, to see it grow, the way it’s growing, with the participation, with the excitement and people buying in — it’s a great feeling,” Littleton said.“We feel that our city is embracing our Juneteenth celebration and that’s very exciting.”Meanwhile, the celebration is giving right back to the city and the area, attendees like Hatcher can attest.Hatcher first moved to Odessa in 2014, ahead of his junior year of basketball at UTPB. It could’ve been a bit of a culture shock, he agreed, moving from his native Tennessee to Odessa, where black or African American people make up a much smaller portion of the area’s overall population. Odessa’s black population makes up about five percent of the city’s total population, according to Census data.But the Juneteenth Celebration is like a cultural anchor for the black community in West Texas, Hatcher agreed — and now, years after his college basketball career ended, he’s still in the area, raising his young family in Midland.Juneteenth festivities have helped make a home out of West Texas for plenty other members of the black community in the area, too, said Danny Wright, the longtime area Boys and Girls Club coordinator, ECISD educator and former Permian basketball coach.“What it brings is a restoration of history and a celebration of a group of people,” Wright said, amid organizing the 38th annual Danny R. Wright Basketball Tournament as part of the festivities.“If there’s a guy who, let’s say he’s a freshman at UTPB or Odessa College … and he’s been around the city … you very seldom see any African Americans,” he said. “If he messes around and comes to Juneteenth: ‘Wait a minute man, did I go to sleep and wake up in a different city? What is going on here?’” he laughed.“But I think that’s a good thing.”This year’s iteration of the high-level basketball tournament is set to tip off at 6 p.m. Friday and again at 9 a.m. Saturday, with Hatcher and a crew of UTPB alums and contingents looking to win a third straight championship — and fellowship along the way.“It gets them involved in where they’re at,” Hatcher said of other African Americans new to the area like him, perhaps who came to the area for education or for the oil industry. “When you’ve got events like that to come up, and those kind of people who want to figure out what’s going on or know about West Texas, that’s one of the great events to go see.”Ned Simmons said he has seen more of the same in his years in Odessa. He came to the area to play at UTPB in the summer of 2005 and then spent several years working in the school’s athletic department after that.“When you get to go out to a Juneteenth Celebration, being at the park, they get to see, ‘Wow, there is this black population out here. It is something that I can get used to, and be around and be a part of,’” Simmons said.Among so many other things, the event celebrates and carries on a heritage and a culture, Wright agreed, and that’s why it’s important that the event has continued and even grown.“We when we first started to do it, we would have a couple of cars playing music at the park,” Wright said. “And the thing has grown, thanks to Jo Ann Littleton and BCCO,” he said, noting that they’re among others.“It’s an opportunity to come out and it’s a secured environment, a controlled environment, a structured environment. … We don’t do that enough. It’s almost like a family reunion, but all the participants don’t necessarily share the same bloodline.”The BCCO’s weekend event kicks off in earnest Friday, with musical performances starting at 3 p.m. at Woodson Park.“I invite anyone who has never attended one, to please come be a part of our celebration,” Littleton said.“If they come once, they’ll want to come back.” Facebook Creamy Fruit SaladSouthern Style Potato SaladSummer Spaghetti SaladPowered By 10 Sec Mama’s Deviled Eggs NextStay last_img read more

Helen Walsh – Brass

first_imgI was handed this book on the way to the gym. Wandering through sun-dappled cloisters, the sounds of birdsong and cricket practise enveloping me, I thumbed idly through the first chapter. Nothing could quite prepare me for the hard-hitting nature of this novel. By the third page I am deeply involved in lesbian sex with a hooker in a graveyard. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, by page ten I am trying desperately to hold my own in a world of strobe-lit flings and comedowns from drugs I have never heard of, described in language I never knew existed. I totally and utterly fail. Having thrown the Oxford English Dictionary into the nearest skip in a rage of apoplexy at its inadequacy, however, I resolve to plough on nonetheless. So, enthroned on the left-hand exercise bike in LA fitness, I follow foul-mouthed, fouler-tempered Millie O’Reilly from solitary drinking binges to molesting teenagers in club toilets, on a trail of selfdestruction punctuated by passages of amazingly evocative description. One such passage depicting an ecstasy-enhanced thunderstorm over the Merseyside docks is spellbinding; those expressing the ineffable joy of voiding one’s bowels when coked up, less so. Alluringly promising “a female perspective on the harsh truth of growing up in today’s Britain”, the author, though sufficiently compassionate, fails to create a character which those eager to discover this new perspective can identify with. Arena may have called Walsh the female Irvine Welsh but she falls far short of this title in Brass. Insufficient depth is given to the emotional build-up to Millie’s odyssey of self-abuse, and her eventual break-down, though inevitable enough, seems to come when the author’s, rather than the heroine’s, stamina fails. That said, however, Walsh presents a shocking portrait of the underbelly of Liverpool Cathedral’s area; an understanding of which creeps up slowly but suddenly overpowers, much like, Walsh assures me, a particularly pure Ecstasy tablet.ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004last_img read more

Kelly Cares hosts Zumba class in the stadium

first_imgWhen you are diagnosed with any type of cancer, you fight like a champion. Paqui Kelly, two-time breast cancer survivor and co-founder and board president of the Kelly Cares Foundation, understands that fight.Kelly founded the organization with her husband, Irish head coach Brian Kelly, after her first experience with cancer.“I was sick for 18 months for the first time around. After I got better, I wanted to do something to help,” Kelly said. “I saw a lot of things when I was sick, and I was thankful that I had all the insurance that I needed, rides to chemo, people to take care of me during times that weren’t very good days.“There were people, single people, who were struggling doing the same things I did. I found out that there are a lot of non-profits that have lots of little ‘angel people,’ as I call them, those single people, because they need help just like everyone else. That was where the idea started.”Monday, the organization held “Paqui’s Pink Out Zumba,” a free Zumba class on the field at Notre Dame Stadium, Kelly said. More than 900 people attended the event and participants received free goody bags and t-shirts.“It’s a lot of fun, and you can’t go wrong with movement and music,” Kelly said. “I’m so excited to be a part of it. We share stories and [talk about] how much has changed because of the amount of fundraising, education, new drugs and early detection programs.”Kelly said this is the second year the foundation has hosted Zumba in the stadium.“Cancer doesn’t just happen in October. Our theme for Paqui’s 2015 Wellness Playbook is educate, thrive and support,” Kelly said. “Those are the things you need to do. If you have an illness, you’ll need to educate yourself about that illness. You are going to have lots of support and to let yourself accept that support. The thrive part [of the theme comes in] when the people supporting you thrive off of you becoming better. It’s all part of the healing process, in my experience.”The Paqui’s Playbook series was created after the organization felt that breast cancer support was lacking in the South Bend area, Patrizia Martellaro, the marketing and development manger for the foundation, said.“There is not a lot in the area during October. So the series was created and designed to touch everyone with a bunch of different activities,” Martellaro said. “It is meant to get people educated on breast cancer and what they can do as a survivor or someone going through it or someone who just cares about the cause.”Martellaro said that the foundation wanted to plan a fun event that everyone could get involved with during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event was designed to bring in students from the University, as well as those from the surrounding South Bend community.“Because health is one of the pillars of our organization, and staying healthy, having a healthy lifestyle is so important to preventing any kind of disease, including cancer, we wanted to do something health-related that people could get involved in,” said Martellaro.According to Kelly, the event was simply designed to raise awareness for the cause.“For the people that have gone through it, it is something to help them celebrate their health,” she said.Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the foundation will hold numerous different events as part of the Paqui’s Playbook series, Martellaro said. In addition to the Pink Out Zumba Event, the foundation will be holding a Pedal in Pink Cycle event on campus in the Rockne Memorial on Oct. 27.“What we hope people get out of it [is] to motivate each other to go get their mammograms and have good health habits. That is the goal,” Kelly said.Tags: breast cancer awareness, cancer, Kelly Cares Foundation, zumbalast_img read more