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Around Town July 2017


(L-R): Ted Spackey, Jenna Spackey, Julia Spackey, Steven Ted Spackey, Susan Spackey, Jillian Spackey, Shelly Lane (president of the DRT chapter) and Pat Spackey.

(L-R): Ted Spackey, Jenna Spackey, Julia Spackey, Steven Ted Spackey, Susan Spackey, Jillian Spackey, Shelly Lane (president of the DRT chapter) and Pat Spackey.

DRT, JUDGE NATHANIEL HART DAVIS CHAPTER, HONOR 4TH GRADE ESSAY CONTEST WINNER

Jillian Spackey , a student at Galatas Elemen­tary in The Woodlands, is the fourth-grade Essay Contest Winner for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Judge Nathaniel Hart Davis chapter. Jillian read her essay to the attendees at the recent 50th Anniversary celebration of the chapter and was awarded a certificate and pin by chapter president, Shelly Lane.

Jillian is a descendant of Dr. Charles B. Stewart of Montgomery who designed the Texas Flag and Seal, was the first Secretary of State for Texas, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and served in Three Texas Legislatures. She was surrounded by her family as she accepted her award. Jillian and her sisters Jenna and Julia are charter members of the Charles B. Stewart Chapter Children of the Republic of Texas, named for their ancestor. The Charles B. Stewart CRT chapter is sponsored by the Judge Nathaniel Hart Davis DRT chapter.

Each year the Daughters of the Republic of Texas encourages students in the fourth and seventh grade to enter the essay contest to learn the history of our Texas Patriots. This year’s subject was “Sam Houston, A Texas Hero.”

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(L-R): Lynn Forney Young (NSDAR honorary president general); Pat Williams (organizing regent of the Heritage Trails chapter, NSDAR); Dottle Wainwright, Pat Spackey, Beverly Pritchard, Ronee Schneider and Paula Grigsby (current regent).

(L-R): Lynn Forney Young (NSDAR honorary president general); Pat Williams (organizing regent of the Heritage Trails chapter, NSDAR); Dottle Wainwright, Pat Spackey, Beverly Pritchard, Ronee Schneider and Paula Grigsby (current regent).

REGENTS OF THE HERITAGE TRAILS CHAPTER, NSDAR, HOSTS AWARDS LUNCHEON

During the recent luncheon and awards ceremonies for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Heritage Trails chapter, all of the chapter regents were in attendance to greet special guests Lynn Forney Young, honorary president general of the NSDAR.

The event, held at the Woodlands Country Club Palmer Course, was a time for presenting outstanding individuals with awards. Regent Paula Grigsby presented the following awards: Nathaniel Kramer received the DAR American History seventh-grade Essay Contest award; Sandy Maxwell received the NSDAR Community Service Award; Andrea Blodgett received recognition from the State and the National Daughters of the American Revolution’s American Heritage Committee for her hand-quilted wall hanging (first place in the state; third place national); and Pat Spackey received the Women in American History Award.

Vice Regent Julie Rohling spoke of the many ways that Bob Grigsby has helped the chapter from the time his wife Paula became regent. Bob was presented with the Heritage Trails Chapter 1st Annual HODAR (Husband of DAR) Award.

Membership awards were then presented to Maureen Pack and Susan McVarish for 10 years of service to NSDAR and to Kaye Wykoff for 25 years of service. Artist Susan Garrison then presented Lynn Forney Young with a hand-painted bag and shirt.

Young served as NSDAR president general (2013-2016) and was the first woman from Texas to be elected to lead the National Society.

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Betcher and his family were surprised with the announcement they would receive a new home during the Houston Texans playoff game Jan. 7

Betcher and his family were surprised with the announcement they would receive a new home during the Houston Texans playoff game Jan. 7

NEW HOME DEDICATION FOR WOUNDED VETERAN AND FAMILY IN CYPRESS

U.S. Army Specialist Cliff Betcher and his family joined representatives from Operation FINALLY HOME, Beazer Homes, The Howard Hughes Corporation- Bridgeland and the Houston Texans on May 26 to celebrate the dedication of their new custom-built, mortgage-free home. The home was built by Beazer Homes with support from their vendors, subcontractors and the Houston Texans on a lot donated by The Howard Hughes Corporation in the Bridgeland community in Cypress.

At the Houston Texans playoff game on Jan. 7, Betcher thought he and his family were invited by the Texans only to be guests at the game in thanks for their service to our country. After being recognized, they played a videoboard game with a trivia question and the answer revealed was the news they were receiving a new home.

The special welcome home ceremony included a ribbon-cutting before the Betcher family received the keys to their new home and saw their completed home for the first time.

Betcher was raised in Denton, Texas, and graduated from Justin High School. After starting college at the University of North Texas in Denton, he realized he had another purpose and chose to serve his country. He answered that call and joined the Texas Army National Guard in 2005 as an Armor Crewman, serving for seven years. In 2006, he was deployed to Iraq where he served a 15-month tour of duty.

As a team leader, driver and gunner, he saw and encountered fighting on a daily basis. Six months into his deployment, his convoy was attacked while out on mission. A rocket-propelled grenade hit his Humvee, killing one of his fellow soldiers. Betcher sustained a traumatic brain injury from the force of the blast and PTSD soon followed. He received the Combat Action Badge, Army Commendation Medal along with several other commendations for his service.

Betcher met his wife, Wynne, while they were both attending University of North Texas, and they married in 2008. While PTSD prevents Betcher from working, he’s committed to giving back to fellow veterans in need and volunteers his time at the VA Medical Center in Houston. Betcher, Wynne and their 7-year-old son have dreamed of a home to call their own in the Houston area.

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JUDGE DOYAL APPLAUDS AG’S SUPPORT OF JUDGE WAYNE MACK AND COURTROOM PRAYER

County Judge Craig Doyal applauded the Texas Attorney General’s Office for its opinion upholding the courtroom prayer and chaplaincy program instituted by Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack. He also stated he continues to support Judge Mack for standing up for religious freedom and resisting calls from some critics to stop his practice of opening each session of court with prayer.

Each session of Commissioners Court is opened by asking a volunteer from the audience to offer a prayer.

“Prayer is a cornerstone of this country and our community, and it has played a key role in the founding of this great nation,” Doyal said.

“I unapologetically stand with Judge Mack and will encourage my fellow commissioners to do the same. I am very thankful for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s clear opinion in support of Judge Mack’s practice of courtroom prayer and his chaplaincy program.”

According to The Courier newspaper, Judge Mack has received complaints from the Freedom from Religion Foundation concerning the official prayers. In response to these complaints, both the Commission on Judicial Conduct and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick requested attorney general’s opinions regarding the practice. The AG’s Office issued its opinion and its conclusion reads:

” A Justice of the Peace does not violate the Establishment Clause by opening a court session with the statement “God save the State of Texas and this Honorable Court.”

“A court would likely conclude that a Justice of the Peace’s practice of opening daily court proceedings with a prayer by a volunteer chaplain as you describe is sufficiently similar to the facts in Galloway such that the practice does not violate the Establishment Clause.

“A court would likely conclude that the volunteer chaplain program you describe, which allows religious leaders to provide counseling to individuals in distress upon request, does not violate the Establishment Clause.”

Judge Mack opens each courtroom session with a prayer by a Justice Court Chaplain, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags. Those in the courtroom are informed in advance of the practice and told they are free to excuse themselves if they do not wish to participate. He also has implemented a volunteer chaplain program.

Judge Doyal said: “As Ronald Reagan once said, ‘The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.’


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