Back to school event helps parents and students clear 1st hurdle of the year

Published 3:28 pm Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tina Tyson and RaNyla Berry, a Kindergartner at Tekoa Academy, said they wanted to have some fun before school starts, so they attended the second annual Back 2 School Event, hosted by Linda’s Lighthouse.

In addition to having a good time they also picked up some school supplies and used some of the services offered.

“We were a little late getting here, but there was plenty of everything,” Tyson said “They have a little bit of everything here.”

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The free family event was held on Saturday at the Kingdom Dominion Church in Port Arthur. Amber Lucas, president and executive director of Linda’s Lighthouse, said they had a backpack/school supply giveaway, haircuts and hairstyles, wellness checks done by a registered nurse and by Premier Dental Service, raffles, food, fun, a live band providing entertainment, games, arts and crafts and bounce houses.

Lucas said she starts planning for this event at the beginning of summer. Local donations, such as those given by Mid-County Dodge and others, make it possible to put on.

The first event last year outgrew the West Side Development Center, so it was moved to the church.

“I started this nonprofit (organization) in memory of my mom,” Lucas said. “We have quite a crowd here. They were waiting on us before we opened.”

Linda’s Lighthouse’s mission was created in memory of Linda Griffin Lucas, who was an avid supporter in the growth of the Port Arthur community, according to their website.

“To fulfill her hopes, our primary focus is to uplift and provide opportunities for our youth and elders,” it read. “We plan to illuminate the way for those in need by bringing knowledge of educational and community resources.”

Paula Savoy commended the volunteers with Linda’s Lighthouse. She added that one woman even traveled from out of town to help.

Minister JoEll Milo with Kingdom Dominion described the event as “awesome and beautiful.”

Jackie Robbins and Shania Willis, a student at Travis Elementary, attended the event to support a good community activity in addition to having some fun along with the school supplies.

Natalie Ramirez, a student at Sam Houston Elementary, said she needs some things for her school. Her mother, Leyte, and her little sister, Stephanie, accompanied her.

Apostle Janice Milo, pastor of the church, said they were excited to partner with Linda’s Lighthouse for another year.

“This event is a blessing for the people of this community,” she said. “Serving is my passion and my calling.

“Linda’s Lighthouse volunteers are young and energetic visionaries. The Bible says, ‘Give, and it will be given unto you.’”