By CHERIL VERNON
Palestine residents Michael Wells and fiancée Arista Brumley had an unusual experience while going to the Texas State Fair this week.
While stopped at a stop light near a restaurant in Mesquite, Brumley heard a woman screaming.
“I had my window down enjoying the breeze when we heard a woman screaming. I turned around and saw a young male run across the road with a purse, and a petite Hispanic lady running and screaming behind him, with two young children following,” Brumley said. “I started screaming while at the red light to Michael, my fiance, that a kid had stolen a lady's purse.”
At that moment, the light turned green and they sped into the next parking lot. Wells and the male driver in a car behind them both exited their vehicles and took off after the teen.
Brumley called 911 and stayed back to watch Wells' children in their vehicle and the children in the other man's car during the pursuit.
“I described every move to the dispatcher as my fiance and the other man — that we only know as Mr. Lewis — apprehended the boy, and retrieved the purse and money he had taken out and put in his pocket,” Brumley said. “As I was watching Mr. Lewis' children, the victim came around the corner crying and ran up to them. She was so upset she became physically ill.”
About that time, the Mesquite Police Department officers arrived on the scene and took the teen into custody — thanks to the assistance of the two Good Samaritans.
Chili cook-off and Christmas drives set for weekend
Today, Dogwood Trails Assisted Living & Memory Care will work in conjunction with several groups to host its second annual chili cook-off — raising funds for a “Senior Christmas Drive.”
Judging will start at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon. Admission will be a donation to the “Senior Christmas Drive.”
Several organizations are assisting with the chili cook-off and “Senior Christmas Drive” including the Vietnam Veterans of America Dogwood Chapter 991 and its Associates of VVA Chapter 991, St. Vincent de Paul, Greenbrier Nursing & Rehab Center and local home health agencies.
“With the many toy drives held each year, we decided to do something to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to our seniors,” Dogwood Trails Assisted Living Activity Director Debbie Wesson said.
In addition, Navy for Moms will hold a bake sale today at the event with proceeds going toward Christmas goodie bags that will be sent to servicemen and women aboard U.S.S. Truman and U.S.S. Boxer.
Navy mom Jackie Weatherly, Navy mom Amy Odom, and Amanda Smith, wife of a retired Navy man, are working to ensure the success of this project, Wesson said.
“These goodie bags will go to those serving in the Navy on U.S.S. Boxer and U.S.S. Harry S. Truman because the men and women on these ships will be deployed during the holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s for sure,” Weatherly said. “Some of these guys and gals are very young — 18- and 19-years-old — and many of them don’t have anyone sending them anything from home and this might be the first time that they won’t be home for Christmas.”
Between the two ships there are about 8,000 sailors on board, Weatherly said.
Weatherly is hoping to collect items for the Christmas goodie bags such as trial size hand sanitizer, sunscreen, chapstick, individual snacks such as crackers or beef jerky, hard candy, jelly beans or gum (no chocolate or gummy-like candy), individual packets of coffee, flavored water packets, card games, etc.
The items for the Navy for Moms project can be dropped off at Dogwood Trails Assisted Living & Memory Care, located at 1625 W. Spring St. now through Nov. 1.
Packages must be mailed by Nov. 2. Weatherly is hoping to collect enough items by Nov. 1 so that 100 Christmas goodie bags can be filled and mailed off in time for the holidays.
Navy for Moms also will have a bake sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in front of Wally's Card Factory.
For information about the Navy for Moms project, call Weatherly at 903-724-0764, Odom at 903-221-3813 or Smith at 817-690-3740.