Christmas with Dr. Levy Charity Concert, Christmas with the Constable Toy Drive provide holiday fun for many

Published 12:36 am Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Voices big and small are joining in Port Arthur Saturday to spread holiday happiness while also raising money for local families in need.

The Christmas with Dr. Levy Charity Concert stars Port Arthur Independent School District Trustee Taylor Getwood, Constable Christopher Bates, the Rev. Jacoby Berry, Young Emerging Leader Member Jacoby Edwards, the Seahawk Singers, the LSCPA Expressions, Elaina Escobedo and the choir from Tyrrell Elementary School.

Joe Tant of the Southeast Texas Educational Development Foundation is the event emcee.

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“It’ll be an afternoon full of great music,” Tant said. “This is absolutely free, and it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity.”

Levy Barnes said he and Tant discussed having a holiday concert years ago, but the pandemic put all discussions on hold. This year Barnes, who is also a musician, gathered some of the most well known singers in the area for Saturday’s event, which will go towards his 9th annual toy drive on Dec. 17 at The Pavilion.

“I am a recording artist on the side and I was speaking with a few people who are involved and thought it would be great if we could all sing together,” Barnes said. “All of us are known for singing around different places, but we’ve never sang together.”

Bates said he began speaking with Barnes about the concert a few months back and is excited about the event.

“We’re looking forward to having a good time on Saturday,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of schools that will be participating, so we’re definitely excited about having our young people involved to help spread some holiday cheer.”

The concert begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lamar Theatre, 1500 Procter Street.

Admission is free but they will be accepting donations.

Christmas with the Constable

It will be a busy week for Bates, who in addition to the charity concert, is hosting the 8th annual Christmas with the Constable Toy Drive from 7-9 p.m. Thursday.

“We definitely want to make sure that we’re giving back this holiday season,” Bates said. “It’s definitely been a blessing for me to give back, and I know it’s a blessing for the families that receive toys.”

The event began in 2011, but it was prior to Bates taking office. Once he did, he wanted to continue the toy drive each year.

“I just wanted to do something during Christmastime, and it’s grown ever since,” he said. “I’ve seen so much joy in the hearts of young people just receiving something a little extra on Christmas.”

The event, which is hosted in partnership with Linda’s Lighthouse, provides toys to the Salvation Army.

This year’s toy drive is at the Texas Artists Museum, 3501 Cultural Center Drive. Bates is asking attendees to bring two unwrapped gifts — one for a girl and one for a boy.

They will also be serving gumbo.