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Linda’s Lighthouse planning community drive-in movie, school supply giveaway

Amber Lucas had to think outside the box when planning for this year’s back-to-school supply giveaway.

Balancing issues such as COVID-19, face masks and social distancing with the needs of students as a new school year rolls around, the executive director of Linda’s Lighthouse and its board members opted for something different.

This year there will be An Evening at Linda’s Lighthouse Back to School Drive-In Movie at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive.

Gabriel Jimenez, left, and Raphael Jimenez, pose for a photo in the photo booth during the 2019 Linda’s Lighthouse Back to School event. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Vehicles will park in the civic center parking lot, where a large screen will be placed on top of the breezeway. Audio from the movie can be heard through a radio station, and there will also be speakers for sound if patrons decide to tailgate, socially distanced of course.

The movie is the Disney and Pixar animated film Onward.

“Like an old school drive-in movie,” Lucas said.

Volunteers with Linda’s Lighthouse will go to each vehicle with school supply filled backpacks and a prepackaged meal. The event is first come, first served.

In addition there will also be voter registration cards and Census 2020 information.

Supplies this year may be a bit different, as campuses in Port Arthur Independent School District will host virtual classes for some time. To adapt to this, the non-profit organization will include headphones with the supplies so the student can do his or her schoolwork.

An additional event

Linda’s Lighthouse will also present A Night Under the Stars Drive-In Cinema at 9 p.m. Aug. 14 outside the civic center with a showing of Remember the Titans.

“This part is open to the community,” Lucas said. “You don’t have to have a student, and we are taking donations as more of a fundraiser. It’s a creative way to start funds for the upcoming year.”

There will be a small concession stand with items like nachos and snow cones. Reserve your space at tiny.cc/lldrivein.

This marks the fifth year Lucas and the board have had the back-to-school event.

“The first two years I did Linda’s Lighthouse out of our own pockets,” she said.

Linda’s Lighthouse was created in memory of Lucas’ mother, Linda Griffin Lucas, who was an avid supporter of growth within Port Arthur.

Words from the heart

Lucas believes her mother would definitely be proud of the work the foundation has done for the people.

“She was always a people person and always loved the youth,” Lucas said.

Kim Wykoff, longtime volunteer and classmate of Lucas, said Linda’s Lighthouse focuses on the people, whether furthering education or giving financial assistance through supplies or motivational words.

“There are a lot of low-income families and they can get supplies they need without having to ask and be embarrassed,” Wykoff said.

Lucas, she said, does a great job reaching out to see what the kids’ need and follows through.

For more information, call 409-444-7630.