Warm and welcoming scents emanated from the large hall in the Southwestern Community Center on Thursday, December 7, 2017. The crowd had not only showed up for lunch, but to support the 19th Annual Bramlett Beans and Cornbread Luncheon named for former Texarkana, Texas mayor James Bramlett.
The effort initially started 25 years ago by Texarkana Water Utilities employee, Paula Jeans, in honor of her late father to raise funds for needy families in the area.
Current Texarkana, Texas Mayor, Bob Bruggeman, had some kind words to say about his predecessor while enjoying his lunch.
“I hope to continue the mission that James Bramlett started all those years ago,” he stated. “This event is so nice, not only because of the great food and drinks provided by Big Jake’s BBQ, Texarkana Independent School District, Coca Cola and Starbucks, but also because it helps contribute to the Christmas Basket program that helps provide holiday
food for those residing in the Texarkana area. We thank all the volunteers who put in hours of work for this event.”
Bruggeman also explained that the luncheon provided options of paying. One could pay a $5 fee or donate canned goods to the cause. Supporters could also pick up their lunch to go.
Mike Riley, Manager of St Michael’s Fitness Center, chose to dine in with other St Michael employees.
“Yes, I’ve been coming to this event from the beginning. James Bramlett was a big influence on the community even outside his role as mayor. He continues to provide
what the community needs with this event,” he said.
Attendees also had the option of browsing the silent auction provided by Texas High School art students benefiting the Empty Bowl project. MK Miller, Texas High art teacher, was accompanied by a few of her students as they helped supporters with pottery purchases.
“I had about 85 students participate in this project and we used several different methods to make these bowls,” Miller stated. The students not only learned some about the art of pottery but also the value of doing good for the community. The funds raised and given to
the international charity, The Empty Bowl Project, to fight hunger.