Lodge No. 656, Free and Accepted Masons, Lanett, hosted a car show on Saturday in the parking lot outside Valley Sportsplex. Sheriff Sid Lockhart and Jerome Bailey cooked for the crowd that turned out, and members of the Order of the Eastern Star served snacks. One of the more interesting vehicles on display was the above 1936 two-door Ford owned by Vince Johnson of Lanett. The man he purchased it from lives in Winder, Ga., and had it painted as a police car to appear in the movie "42." The above car didn't make it into the movie but another car restored by the Winder man, a 1936 Ford coupe, did appear. Filmed primarily in Macon and Hiram, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., and Chattanooga, Tenn., “42” was released in 2013. It starred Chadwick Boseman in the lead role of Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. (Photo by Wayne Clark)
By WAYNE CLARK
WEST POINT — Many Americans live their entire lives inside the U.S., never once venturing across the border to another country. Victoria Owens is only 19 and is looking forward to traveling outside the U.S. for a sixth time this May.
For five of the past six years, Victoria has been part of mission trips to Mexico to build homes for families in need of them. She was on such trips in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and after not going in 2012 went back in 2013 and 2014.
A year ago, Victoria was in Mexico for 13 weeks from mid May till August, helping Christian groups build homes in Juarez and Acuna. An advanced ability to speak Spanish makes her a valuable member of the team. There were many instances last year where she was the only person on the scene who could translate between native Mexicans speaking Spanish and members of a U.S. home-building team.
Victoria took Spanish while a student at Troup High and is now majoring in it at Columbus State University.
Should she reach a $4,000 fundraising goal, Victoria will be flying out on May 9 for another 13-week stay in Mexico. By day, she will be in Juarez building houses and at night across the Rio Grande in El Paso with other members of Casas por Cristo.
Victoria has made progress in reaching her $4,000 fundraising goal but could use a push in April. Local people can help her by taking part in a couple of upcoming fundraisers. From 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 3, a hamburger sack lunch sale will be taking place across from Walmart in Valley.
Sheriff Sid Lockhart and Capt. Jerome Bailey of the Chambers County Sheriff's Office will be cooking in the front of the parking lot Chambers Square Shopping Center in Valley. It's $6 per bag for two hamburgers and chips. All proceeds will go to summer missions.
On Tuesday April 7, Jim Bob's in LaGrange will be having a fundraiser from 4 to 9 p.m. They will be donating 20 percent of the cost of the meal for anyone who says they are there for Victoria Owens.
She will also be a member of a home-building team in Acuna, Mexico, just across the river from Del Rio, Texas. The volunteers will be spending their days in Mexico and their nights in the U.S.
Casas por Cristo relies on labor and resources of full time staff missionaries, a board of over 100 pastors and community leaders from Juarez and Acuna, Mexico, San Raimundo, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic and approximately 7,000 annual volunteers from all parts of North America. Through these cross-cultural partnerships, volunteer teams have opportunities to build homes for families in need.
In just one week, teams transform otherwise empty lots into safe and secure homes, complete with cement foundations, electricity, windows and doors.
As a result of this experience, each family receives a tangible symbol of the faithfulness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ. As volunteers gain perspective on the extreme poverty that exists in the world, these families better understand God's plan for their lives and His deep desire to take care of their needs.
Each team has 15 or more people with most members being from the U.S. In previous years, Victoria worked with volunteers from Spring Road Christian Church in Lanett. This year, Spring Road's Casas por Cristo group will be going to the Dominican Republic. Victoria plans to return to Juarez and Acuna.
"I love doing this," she says. "It has been an incredible experience for me. Last year it was hard for me to come home. It's rewarding to spend three full months getting involved with families, seeing their lives changed and how God provides."
Victoria says most Americans have no idea what extreme poverty is like. "You have to see it for yourself to know how bad living conditions can be," she said. "It can make you cry to see people living in dwellings with dirt floors, leaky roofs and having to use outdoor toilets. People in the U.S. do not know how blessed we are. It's humbling being part of something that makes life better for people in need. There are so many people in extreme poverty. They need our help."
Victoria took part in building 12 new homes last summer. Her favorite part of the stay was the home dedication ceremony. "Each week we get to dedicate a home," she said. "We're done, and they can move in. It's a celebration. Sometimes they will cook for you, and we give them the keys to the house and a Bible."
"I'm looking forward to seeing the people we worked with last year and spending time with the families we built for," Victoria adds. "I can't wait to get back. What we built last year is not an empty house with four walls. It's a new home with four or five people living there. This year we will be building more homes for more people who are living in extreme poverty."
Victoria says that reports of Mexico being a dangerous place to be have been greatly exaggerated. "There are bad neighborhoods in the U.S. you don't go into," she said. "It's the same in Mexico. The whole country isn't dangerous. I felt very safe where I was last year."
"I'm looking forward to working with the U.S. teams," Victoria says. "Last year I met people from places like South Dakota. I would have never met them had it not been for Casas por Cristo. That was really cool."
By THE TIMES-NEWS
LaFAYETTE — The Captain Bill Pruitt Chambers County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 20 will once again sponsor its annual Easter egg hunt on West Point Lake.
The egg hunt will take place Saturday, April 4 beginning at 2 p.m. at Rocky Point Beach on the lake.
There will be four age groups: 0-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12.
More than 3,000 eggs and 100 prize eggs will be available for local children to hunt in this annual tradition.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
EUFAULA, Ala. — The AISA No. 5-ranked Springwood Wildcats baseball team (16-2, 5-0) split doubleheader action with AISA rival Lakeside Academy here Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Walter Banks’ Wildcats posted a 20-5 win in Game 1 but lost in the nightcap game by a 13-8 score.
•In Game 1, Springwood scored six runs in the first, two in third, five in the fifth and seven more in the seventh for its 20 runs.
Springwood pounded out 19 hits in the game. Lanier Gleaton led the way with three hits while Brandon Bryan had four RBIs, Connor Caldwell added three RBIs and David Miller tallied two RBIs.
Jake Sullivan worked four innings on the mound for Springwood and Caldwell pitched two innings as well.
•In Game 2, Springwood fell behind 7-0 after two innings and could never catch up in a 13-8 loss.
Lakeside led 4-0 after the first, 7-0 after two and 8-0 in the third.
The Chiefs tallied four more runs in the sixth and one in the seventh for its 13 runs.
Springwood tallied six runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
Miller and Tyler Wright led the Wildcats offense each with two hits.
Caldwell also had two RBIs.
•In other high school baseball news, the Troup Tigers (13-2, 5-1) have moved up one spot in the latest Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) GHSA 4A baseball poll to No. 5.
Coach Craig Garner’s Tigers trail No. 1 Buford, No. 2 Whitewater, No. 3 Locust Grove, No. 4 St. Pius and No. 5 Troup. Pike County, North Hall, Mary Persons, Liberty County and Wayne County round out the 4A Top 10 rankings.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
ALEXANDER CITY — The AHSAA 6A state playoff-bound Valley High Rams baseball team (9-8, 5-1) is one of six schools participating this week at the annual Lake Martin Classic tournament as hosted by Benjamin Russell High School.
The six-school field includes host Benjamin Russell, Valley, Central Clay, Dadeville, Tallassee and Briarwood Christian.
The championship game is scheduled for April 2 at a time TBA.
It’s been a solid season to date for the Rams, culminating in last week’s thrilling, series-deciding Game 3, come-from-behind 4-3 win over Benjamin Russell to clinch a playoff berth.
Coach Steve Coker’s Rams will play rival Opelika for the region championship, April 7, 9.
Game 1 of the Valley-Opelika region title series will be at home, April 7. Games 2 and 3 will be doubleheader action at Opelika High, April 9 with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. ET.
By Scott Sickler
Times-News Sports Editor
BEULAH — The Beulah Athletic Association will have a morning of road races Sat., April 11 at Beulah High School.
The runs include 10.5K run at 8 a.m. CST and 5K run at 10 a.m.
In addition, the one-mile run will begin at 11 a.m. The entry fee is $25 for one race and $35 for both races. For additional information, contact race coordinator Roger Keel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (334) 524-2884.
LANETT — Mrs. Frances Anne Dailey Patterson, 80, of Lanett went to be with the Lord Saturday, March 28, 2015. She died peacefully with her family at her side.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday, April 1 at 11 a.m. at Oakwood Cemetery in Lanett.
McCarthy Funeral Home of West Point is in charge of arrangements.
VALLEY — Mrs. Doris Elizabeth Rodgers Walker, 88, of Valley died Monday, March 30, 2015, at her home, surrounded by her children.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 2 at 11 a.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with Pastor Michelle Mouriski officiating. Burial will follow at Fairfax Cemetery.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.
LaFAYETTE — Mr. Franklin Goffer, 41, of LaFayette died Thursday, March 26, 2015, at his residence.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 1 at 1 p.m. CDT at Powell Chapel United Methodist Church in LaFayette, Dr. Randy B. Kelley, pastor, Minister Cecelia Broome officiating. Burial will follow at Handy Cemetery in LaFayette.
Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home of LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.
VALLEY — Funeral services are pending for Mrs. Doris Walker, 88, of Valley, who died Monday, March 30, 2015.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.