Blanco County News
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The Blanco Good Samaritan Center, Inc.
How One Woman’s Idea Made a Difference
Continued from last week.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 • Posted January 15, 2008

In April, 1990, as the story unfolds, the records and minutes of meetings held during the organizational period of what we know, today, as The Blanco Good Samaritan Center, reveals that the Ministerial Fellowship suggested that an interim organization be established “...as a unified program in Blanco to help those in need; line up volunteer officers who would serve through the growing pains; choose a name for the organization; elect officers; and line up necessary financial sources and food supplies...” (In 1990, the members of the Ministerial Fellowship were Tom Youngblood, All Faiths Chapel; George Joehnk, Blanco United Methodist Church; Gordon Swope, St. Michaels Episcopal; Rusty Hicks, First Baptist Church; Frank Nelan, St. Ferdinand’s Catholic Church; David Cox, Church of Christ; Don Taylor, Trinity Luthern, and Earl Mask, First Assembly of God.)

In May of 1990 the temporary officers met at the First Baptist Church.

They met again at All Faiths Chapel on July 30th and it was at this meeting that the UMW members and Rev. George Joehnk, Minister of the Blanco United Methodist Church, turned over to Ernest Prince, temporary Chairman of the new organization, all items and money held by Thee Thrift Shop. Likewise, all money and food at The Food Pantry and The Helping Hand Committee were turned over to the new organization. The UMW volunteered to pay the telephone bill for six months.

It was stipulated that the new organization would provide:

• clothes at a small cost, or free, based on need;

• shelter assistance, if needed;

• shut-in assistance;

• volunteers would assist people whose houses needed repairs, renovation, or add-ons to the home in which they were presently living. (This has been discontinued due to lack of volunteers);

• meals at Thanksgiving time for the needy.

Officers through the organizational period were: Ernest Prince, Chairman; Mark Tidwell, Secretary/Treas.; Mike McClure, Publicist; (Bart Barry was an active member of the group interested in forming the organization until his death 6-27-91.) Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Humrichouse were the first elected board members. (Lonnie served as Chairman of the Board from 1-1-91B-10-10-95 and Nell Humrichouse served as Recording Secretary from 1-1-91 until her death 10-1-91). Frances Mazurek served as Temporary Clothing Chairman until 1-1-91. Murdenzel Felps served for four years as Chairman and, likewise, Nell Stansbury served the same period as Co-Chairman for the distribution of clothing. Dorothy Avara served as temporary Special Needs and School Supplies until 1-1-92 and then Ernest and Kay Prince took the position until 12-30-1992. Dorothy DeWolf served for three years as Chairman and Marion MacDowell also served the same period as Co-Chairman for keeping the pantry properly supplied with groceries.

On August 17, 1990 the temporary officers decided to continue using the 620 Pecan Street building and the following week, on August 25, 1990, a Certificate of Occupancy Lease, with Option to Purchase was executed and signed with The Blanco National Bank.

On 1-24-91, the following officers were elected: Chairman, Lonnie Humrichouse; Vice-Chairman, William “Whitey” Uselton (served from 1-1-91B10-10-91) followed by Ernest Prince (who served from 10-10-91-B12-31-91); Recording Secretary, Nell Humrichouse and then Katherine “Kitty” (Mrs. Whitey) Uselton served from 1-24-91-B10-31-91); Treasurer, Mark Tidwell (served from 1-1-91B-12-31-91); the two Board of Directors elected from All Faiths Chapel were: Dorothy Avara and “Whitey” Uselton; the two Board members from the Blanco United Methodist Church were Ernest Prince and Murdensel Felps; elected from Saint Ferdinand Catholic Church were Lonnie and Nell Humrichhouse; elected from Trinity Lutheran Church were Cora Beckman and Bobbie Sanders; elected from Mt. Horeb Baptist Church was Leslie Yett; the two elected Deligates-at-Large were Carol Spurgin and Mark Tidwell.

It was decided that the President and Secretary would be elected at the beginning of even-numbered years and serve for two years. Likewise, the Vice-President and Treasurer would be elected at the beginning of odd-numbered years and serve two years. This was later changed to “All officers will be elected and serve for two years. The President will appoint the person in charge of the food and the clothing departments and they will serve for two years.”

On October 4, 1991, The Blanco Good Samaritan Center, Inc. was incorporated. (Attorney Dean Myane donated her time and knowledge in preparing the papers for the Charter and the Incorporation documents.)

Additional honorary mention must be made here of individuals who also volunteered their time and efforts to the new struggling organization:

• Kevin Hall, owner of Dixie Chicken, donated frozen chickens;

• Margie Dees wrote GSC news articles for the Blanco County News;

• Phillip Strickland of Strickland Drugs permitted the GSC volunteers to use his pharmacy for storing the GSC cash box and house key between usages, thus supplying a convenient place from which these items could be retrieved. (This practice continues today.)

• In 1995 “Whitey” Uselton, Leslie Yett, Mike McClure and Ernest Prince took turns driving to Austin to pick up groceries. (The present “Food Retrievers,” Terry Carmichael and his crew, only need to drive to Johnson City’s First Baptist Church to pick up the groceries.)

On January 1, 2008 the following slate of officers will take over and serve for two years at The Good Samaritan Center: President, William “Whitey” Uselton; Vice-President, June Baird; Food Chairwoman, Judy Carmichael, with the following “Food Retrievers” being led by Terry Carmichael and his helpers Arlon Cook, Ron Zunker and Bob Johnson; Secretary, Pam Ridlehuber; Treasurer, Lucy Uselton; Clothing Chairwoman, Mary Huser.

Today, it can be said that the success of The Good Samaritan has been a joint community-wide effort to assist those people in need of a short-time, helping hand. The Citizens Of Blanco Wish To Say To All Of The Original UMW Ladies, To All Of The Past And The Present Volunteer Workers And The Elected Officers: “A Very Heartfelt Thank You For All Of Your Hard Work. Your Efforts Are Greatly Appreciated.”

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