Texline celebration enjoyed large turnout
By Robin Scott
The first anniversary celebration of the opening of the Community Center in Texline was held on Saturday, July 18th.. The daylong event brought people from the community and surrounding areas and an estimated 350 to 400 people enjoyed the meal and all of the planned activities.
The celebration began at 9:00 a.m. with a craft show at the school gymnasium. Venders included Horst Woodworking from Pampa, JNT’s Treasures from Pampa, Apache Valley Soap from Clayton, NM, Scissors Etc. from Texline, Crafts by Debbie and Junior from Amarillo and a few others.
Lunch was served by the directors of the 73rd XIT Rodeo and Reunion and included barbecued beef or pork and all of the side dishes one could ask for. Brenden Gallagher and Tony White of Texline State Bank cooked all of the meat. Also assisting in the kitchen were several directors for the community center, including Michelle Reeser, Valerie and Michael Diller, and Karen Poole. Director Barry Poling helped plan and set up the event. Director Tomasa Montez was unable to attend.
The highlight of the lunch was the dessert table. More than 30 different desserts all lovingly made by the Mennonite community were spread across several tables. The most difficult part of the day may have been deciding which desserts to devour. More than one guest mentioned that they had tasted several. Deputy Jack Reynolds with the Dallam County Sheriff’s Office commented, “I have to find out the recipe for that crispy dessert with the chocolate inside, it was wonderful.”
After lunch, many of the games got underway and were coordinated by the Texline Volunteer Fire Department. An outside dunking booth drew a large group of would-be baseball-throwing specialists who attempted to dunk members of the volunteer fire department. Many firemen walked around soaking wet. Also outside was a water tank truck with a basket that was raised 30-40 feet in the air. The water was sprayed on anyone willing to get drenched. Many children ran and shouted as the cold water gave them a welcomed relief from the day’s heat. At the rear of the community center a game of horseshoes was played and inside the center a few people enjoyed playing BINGO and winning prizes. Director Jeff Finnegan called the games. Cecil McClellan, uncle of Jeff Finnegan, sat and enjoyed BINGO with all of the children playing.
Larry and Carla North coordinated the antique car show and Catherine and Gary Herber coordinated the craft show that was held inside the school gymnasium. Other events included the trap shoot and a visit to the fire department’s house of safety.
Throughout the morning and during lunch Deputy Reynolds was available to fingerprint the children present at the event. The fingerprinting kits included a space for all 10 prints of each child plus their biographical data. The kits also included a swab for a DNA sample. The service was provided free of charge and an event that the deputies enjoy taking part in. The children getting fingerprinted were just a bit amazed that no ink was required. They placed each finger on a tissue paper and then onto the card, and their prints then “appeared” on the paper, which even impressed parents.
Texline is a city of 512. Combined with the surrounding areas, the population comes to approximately 1,200. The Community Center provides valuable services to the entire area. Since its dedication on July 20, 2008, the center has benefited the community of Texline in numerous ways. The center has a health clinic on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week until noon. Senior citizens may eat lunch five days a week and the food pantry serves many families in the community.
The Center is available for parties, reunions, meetings or other activities and may be rented as needed. According to Jeff Finnegan, “This center is only here because of Valerie Diller. She believed in it and she made us believe in it. When it started to really come together it was amazing. John and Ryan Warkentin then built it, and now we are in our second year.”
The community of Texline banded together to create the center. Valerie Diller noted that the room lunch was served in was due to the donation of Mac Kehoe, one of the center’s directors, as she pointed to the plaque on the wall bearing his name. “Every room here was the gift of someone,” Diller stated. She further noted, “The center is 100 percent community driven. The citizens of Texline paid the $300,000 cost to build it through donations. There were no tax dollars used or that go toward it. Every bit of it was through private funds.”
All funds collected through entry fees and events benefit the Texline Volunteer Fire Department Building Fund and the Community Center.
For more information on the Texline Community Center, contact Valerie Diller at 806.362.4247 or 806.333.4247; the Community Clinic at 806.362.4651; Senior meals at 806.362.4881; Food pantry or Mennonite Youth Program at 806.362.4630; or to rent the center, contact Jeff Finnegan at 806.362.4261.