Elks Lodge Holds Halloween Fling
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On Monday October 22, 2012 the Elks threw a party to celebrate Halloween! The Elks Lodge in Paris, Texas has been a blessing to our community. Their love for the people leaps beyond anything that I have ever witnessed. Every year around this time members rally together in an effort to put smiles on the faces of individuals with special needs.
Abundant Life HCS Company and Lamar County MHMR rounded up the gang for the Elks Annual Group Home Halloween Fling! Abundant Life is a private provider for mentally challenged individuals in Texas. They provide an array of services which includes Residential Group Homes and Foster Care. We spoke with Kathy Alford (Paris Regional Manager) of Abundant Life HCS along with Chris Peters (Day Program Manager) for Paris/Sulphur Springs MHMR and they seemed just as excited about the party as everyone else.
People from the Group Home ranging in ages from 20 to 55 enjoyed a cheeseburger supper, costume contest, live music, and dancing. Carl Cullum, Bronc Groves, David Lawrence, Ryan Sommerville, and Tom McCullar rocked out on the stage and had the entire place jumping! Songs like “Honky-tonk Blues”, “Carmen”, and “Guitars and Cadillacs” brought out the party animal.
Looking through my camera and seeing the pure excitement bursting from all of these wonderful souls, brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t help but think of how lucky that I am personally to have my health without any hindering conditions.
One of the gang took an immediate interest in what we were doing, so I decided to interview him. Grant Alexander was in a major car wreck in 1999 losing his mother Tina and almost his brother Collin. Since that tragic day, Grant has become a living miracle. After being in a coma prior the accident for 10 weeks, Grant was in a wheelchair for 19 months. For 16 Months he was completely mute. Through home bound school and determination, he graduated high school in 2002 with his class. He went through what would kill most people and talking to him at the party, he seemed to be just like you and I. He gives all the glory to God for his recovery. Grant has a passion for baseball and has over 19,000 baseball cards in his collection. His entire family story is featured in “Through These Doors” by Dwight Alexander here.
We had an awesome time hanging out with everyone at the Elks Lodge for the Halloween Fling, and we can’t wait to see what the holiday season brings! We would also like to commend Milred Pratt and all of the Elks for keeping such a wonderful tradition of bringing joy to the lives of these amazing individuals.
“God always puts people in our lives at the right time and for a purpose” – Dwight Alexander
WE ARE COMMUNITY!
Photos by Robbie Gunn