There is no doubt that the people of Runnels County have big hearts 365 days a year. But those hearts swell even more with joy and charitable donations around Christmas time.

Last year Runnels County Sheriff Carl Squyers raised enough toys for the Sheriff Department’s annual toy drive to give out toys to over 300 children in the county. Sheriff Bill Baird started the toy drive over 19 years ago and Squyers has carried on the legacy, “In the last 19 years that I’ve been here, I have seen the pure joy on the faces of the families when they see the gifts they will be able to give their children, who would have done without on Christmas morning. I also have seen the joy in the faces of Runnels County citizens when they make their donations. This toy drive is something I am proud to continue. As I said before I have seen the faces of the families who receive these gifts. I know without a doubt people’s generosity makes each Christmas much more joyous for these children. Through your donations they not only receive toys, but clothing, blankets, hygiene products and many other items these children need.”

Scores of citizens of the county have contributed toys, with several organizations stepping up to help out. KRUN radio general manager Jeff Smith is holding a toy drive to bring in toys for the sheriff’s department, “The people in the Agri-plex have big hearts and it shows when they help out in so many ways. We collected hundreds of toys last year and we’re collecting more this year.”

The Rotary Club of Ballinger also stepped up and made a donation of $600 to the sheriff’s toy drive.


Winters Noon Lions raise money


The Winters Noon Lions club raised hundreds of dollars at their pancake supper during the Winters High School basketball tournament. The volunteers served pancakes, sausage and coffee in the cafeteria area of the high school while the basketball games were going on. Rev. Al Brakke said that it helps local organizations, “We have several organizations here in town, such as the Samaritan House and Salvation Army that are nonprofits and benefit from local funds.”

The Lions fed hundreds of people stack upon stack of perfectly cooked pancakes and sausage patties. There was no limit so you could come back for seconds or thirds or fourths, etc. It was the perfect meal for people who had traveled and hour or more from other cities and towns to watch the games. Old friends and new friends visited over stacks of pancake as they syrup flowed and the coffee was poured.


Ballinger Noon Lions make two donations


Michael White, president of Ballinger’s Noon Lions, told what the donations would go to, “At their regular meeting, December 5th, Lions Club president Michael White presented two donations.

First was $400 given to Angela Hoyle who accepted the check on behalf of the Ballinger Humane Society. The money is for the purchase of a pet chip reader, enabling the Human Society to easily and quickly return pets with implanted chips, to their owners.

Ballinger Police Chief Stan Maresch accepted the second donation in the amount of $250 to the Ballinger Police Association.  The donation was for costs incurred in the purchase and maintenance of a police drug dog. More donations from the community will be needed for upkeep and training of the dog and training of the officer using the dog.

Lions Club continues to serve their community with donations and projects meant to better the community, state, country and the world. Regular meetings are held weekly at the Acapulco Restaurant.“