By CHERIL VERNON
PALESTINE — As a way to keep the memory of a local teen who died in 2009 alive while helping further the education high school graduates, the annual Sadie Warren Memorial Scholarship Fund-raiser will be held today and Saturday in Elkhart.
The fund-raiser will include a yard sale, bake sale and authentic Mexican food plates. The fund-raiser will be held today and Saturday at Just Deb's resale shop, located at 214 U.S. 287/Texas 19 South in Elkhart across from Kim's gas station.
All proceeds will go toward the Sadie Warren Memorial Scholarship Fund for students graduating from Elkhart High School this year. At least two scholarships are given annually.
“People have been popping in all day dropping off donations,” Just Deb's owner Deborah Wimberg told the Herald-Press Thursday.
Donations of garage sale items and baked goods will be accepted for the event.
The fund-raiser will start at 8 a.m. each day with the food being sold from 11 a.m. until sold out. Today, chicken enchiladas with beans and rice plates will be sold for $6, as well as homemade tamales and hot dogs for the kids. On Saturday, homemade tamales and posole (a Mexican broth rich soup made with pork, red chilies and lots of add-ins) will be sold, as well as hot dogs. Soft drinks also will be available to purchase.
The Sadie Warren Memorial Scholarship is given away annually in memory of 16-year-old Sadie Warren of Elkhart, who was one of three teenagers killed in a one-vehicle wreck on Sept. 11, 2009. The other teens killed were Kelsi Seal, 15, and Evan Joseph Luna, 15.
“We do the scholarships every year,” Sadie's father James Warren told the Herald-Press. “It makes me feel good. If she were alive, Sadie would be 19 right now, turning 20 in July. I think she would be tickled to death that we do this.”
In past years, he hasn't been able to hand out the scholarships personally during the graduation ceremony, but he hopes to be able to do that this year.
“I haven't had the courage, but I want to try to do that this year,” Warren said of how emotionally challenging it can be.
Warren was one of the first persons on the scene the night of fateful wreck — not knowing at the time that his daughter was one of the three teens killed. A total of six teens were in the vehicle when it crashed.
“At the time I was a volunteer firefighter,” Warren said as he described being at the scene and finding his daughter among the wreckage. “It was tough, but I held her and said my goodbyes.”
His daughter was proud of her dad serving as a volunteer firefighter and enjoyed riding on the fire trucks during parades, Warren said.
“When you are in that line of work, you never think you are going to run across your own child,” Warren said.
Now, through the scholarship fund, he's able to keep her memory and spirit alive.
“We go through the scholarship applications every year and pick graduates who are really focused on going to college and whose families need assistance,” Warren said.
For more information about donating items for the fund-raiser, call Wimberg at 936-222-7946 or Warren at 903-948-0229.
McClendon family reunion held
James Alex and Misty McClendon were in charge of getting another Wayne and Sue McClendon family reunion together. This year the event was held March 29 at their home in the Hickory Hill community. They also celebrated Wayne “Bimps' McClendon's 79th birthday, which was March 30.
Justin Crutcher and Denny McClendon were in charge of the meat. Everyone brought a covered dish.
There was a storm the night before that knocked the electricity out. Those attending filled their plates inside, in the dark, and went outside to eat.
A bounce house was made available for the little ones. Some played horseshoes, football and “42.” A lot of pictures were taken by “Ganie.” Those attending got the opportunity to look through the album of past reunions, with the first one that started in March 1979.
Those coming to enjoy the day were: Wayne and Sue McClendon; Mary and Ted Crutcher; Jason and Heather Crutcher; Jaden and Landon and Justin Crutcher; Crystal Cernoch; Riley and Shabry McClendon (and son); Brandy and Brad Thrift; Jake Sipes; Jordan McClendon and friend; Ashlynn Crum; Denny and Amy McClendon; Junior; William; Ryan; ShyAnn; Kenson and Kamden; Duke McClendon; Jaycie and Christian; Wog and Bridget McClendon; Alex and Misty McClendon; Austin and Kelsie; Taylor and Allie McClendon; Aaron and Jubilee McClendon; Autumn and Clayton; Dave McClendon; Amy Hightower; Kenzie and Preston and special guest Gloria Adams and Tony Adams.