Tag: Community

Student finds community, opportunities after beginning college

By Danisha Lewis

When I first came to South Plains College, I did not know what to do.

I was down and out, had no friends and I was basically an adult, as we all are when our parents drop us off. Coming to SPC was definitely not my first choice, but I am glad I made the choice.

SPC is a great choice for anyone starting out in college. It gives insight into adult life while also giving the college experience, such as attending basketball games to participate in events on campus. The events really opened me up and gave me insight. It makes me realize that college was not so bad after all. 

The moment I started going to events, I made friends and others who have helped along the way. I feel that if a young adult is starting college, the best choice would be a community college, especially SPC.

College offers students many opportunities. SPC allowed me to be part of many organizations such BSM (Baptist Student Ministries). I also became an RA (Residence assistant), and I also had the opportunity to start my own club. Being on campus has really opened up a lot of doors for me, from winning Homecoming Queen to being involved in pageants. I have also seen lots of others gain amazing opportunities, academically and athletically.

Our campus encourages diversity and equality among all students. The professors care, and everyone knows each other while giving each other a chance.

SPC has evolved a lot over the course of years. Some might even say this was their best first choice. It sure was for me.

Many students think of community colleges as an easy way out, or so I have heard. But it really makes everything easier for those who it has an affect on. Any community college is a great first choice, due to the growth and development it had on younger students who are just getting started. It is cheaper, faster and a more efficient way to get a degree, while allowing students to have the same experience as people their same age at a University.

SPC is a home for many students. This campus has a wide variety of resources that students are able to utilize, whether it is counseling or needing food from the food pantry and much more. 

This is not only a community college, but also a home for many students on this campus. People come from all over the world to come here. This allows people to interact with people from all over. SPC offers many opportunities for students, and continues to do so through the will of giving and understanding.

Families celebrate tradition, community at Lubbock Pancake Festival

A mascot walks around taking pictures with children and families. A giant blue “Lions” banner hangs over the entire venue. Hundreds of balls of cotton candy bagged and ready to be distributed.

But the pancakes are the real star of the Lubbock Lions Club Annual Pancake Festival held on Feb. 16 at the Civic Center.

IMG_0298The Lions Club celebrated 90 years in Lubbock with their 67th Annual Pancake Festival. The Pancake Festival is a local favorite, with many families attending the festival every year for more than 20 years.

The Lubbock Lions Club Annual Pancake Festival is the largest pancake festival in the world. They support local charities, and still hold the world record for most pancakes served in an eight-hour period by a non-profit organization.

Upon entering the venue, thousands of people line up for the all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage links. Additional tickets could be purchased and exchanged for bacon, cotton candy, temporary face tattoos, popcorn and balloons. There also is a drink station with gallons of coffee, orange juice and milk.

Nine serving lines accommodate the throng of people who are ready for as many pancakes as they can consume. Most families and friends were already seated enjoying extra large pancakes and sausage links. The brave were sitting in front of the stage where local country singers, and even child yodelers, were performing.

The Lions Club donates all profits raised by the Pancake Festival to more than 30 charities, with a goal of $130,000 donated this year. Last year, $114,000 was donated to charities, including The Adult Eyeglass Program, Boy Scout Troop 157, LISD Eyeglasses for Children, Children’s Miracle Network, Meals on Wheels, The Salvation Army, Sick Children’s Clinic of Lubbock, YWCA Adaptive Aquatics Program, Catholic Charities, and Texas Lions Camp for children with special needs.

Brad Payne, a Pancake Festival co-chair and Texas Tech alum, said the event helps bring the community together for a good cause.

“We’re aware of how many lives have been touched by our service projects,” Payne explained. “This is a great tradition, and the Pancake Festival is a terrific event that we are proud to present each year. It gives our entire community an opportunity to gather together and support many worthy causes.”

There are many smiling faces, and families sitting across from one another who may DSC_0211have been strangers, but became neighbors sharing an experience and supporting their community at the Pancake Festival.

“We can come together around the table, the breaking of bread, well, pancakes, and people put aside their differences, and I think that’s a good thing,” said the Pancake Festival co-chair.

Even though The Lubbock Lions Club sponsors the event and plans it, Payne likes to think of the Pancake Festival as a Lubbock event. He also mentioned that the Pancake Festival is the only fundraiser that the Lions Club facilitates.

The very first Pancake Festival was held in the Lubbock High School cafeteria. It ran from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and tickets were only 50 cents, more than $1,000 was raised. Since then, the Pancake Festival has grown to serve thousands of hungry participants each year, with the mission of donating to local charities.

The Lions Club ordered a staggering amount of supplies for the festival, including, but not limited to, nearly 6,000 pounds of pancake mix, more than 320 gallons of pancake syrup, 80,000 links of sausage, 23,000 slices of bacon, 240 gallons of hot coffee and 135 gallons of margarine.

The Lubbock community responded with huge numbers attending the event, which also featured live entertainment and activities for children and adults. The Pancake Festival had a silent auction, a raffle with merchandise totaling more than $2,000 in value, and more than 2,000 bags of cotton candy.

Kelly Pinion, president elect of the Lions Club, was seen in the very center of the event handing out balloons and smiles. She has been a member of the Lions Club since 2006.

“One Hundred percent of the money we earn goes to the community and charity,” Pinion explained. “Nothing goes towards admin fees. It just warms your heart, talking to the kids, and getting to talk to people, and getting the word out about all the good things the Lions Club does.”

IMG_0341She added that the Lions Club helped eradicate a disease called “River Blindness” in Africa.

Many local families have made it a longtime tradition to bring their loved ones to the Pancake Festival.

Bennie and Carolyn Jordan said they have been taking their family to the Pancake Festival every year for more than 30 years.

“We make it every year,” Carolyn Jordan said. “It’s a tradition. Even our pastor is here.”

The Pachall family has been attending the festival for more than 28 years to enjoy the good food and music.

“We’ve been taking our kids and their kid’s kids here,“ said Jimmy Pachall. “We love it, and enjoy the good food and being able to spend time with our community.”

About 11,000 people attended the 2019 Lions Club Annual Pancake Festival, and the $130,000 goal to be donated to charity was exceeded by hundreds of dollars, according to Payne. The friendly environment and volunteers made this year’s Festival a success.

NFL player determined to grow education opportunities in hometown

Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles is donating the rest of his year’s salary in effort to increase educational equality.

Long, a defensive end in his first season with the Eagles, has already donated his first six game checks to give two scholarships for students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia.

His next 10 game checks will be used to launch the, “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” campaign, which includes four organizations that branch out to three communities in effort to grow equal education opportunities.

Long is taking initiative with the platform he has access to in the NFL to promote positive changes in society, starting with the children of America receiving equal education opportunities.

Although athletes in various professional sports advocate giving to charities and organizations, Long is one of the few who is making the most of his professional career to provide for his cause.

Athletes donate and help with various societal issues but do not continuously speak out and push their followers to do the same.

I believe more athletes who have the money to give should be more involved with society and the various problems Americans are facing. It is not only equal education, but so many more such as job opportunities, environmental advances, and the overall well-being of cities and towns.

Long is not the top earning player in the NFL by far, which presents the question of why can’t the top paid athletes throughout the league do more?

It is not a rule that players are forced to help society in any way they can, but it should be encouraged. Instead of buying mansions, sports cars, and other luxuries, players can do more for the people struggling in society or put their resources toward creating a better environment and healthy city or town they came from.

I continually read and hear about professional athletes who grew up in ghettos or middle-class neighborhoods where life wasn’t always the easiest. Their families, siblings, and friends didn’t always get the newest or nicest things because parents were working to put food on tables.

As professional athletes who get paid more than enough to sustain a healthy lifestyle, these players could make a difference by helping families and neighborhoods that struggle like those players once did so long ago.

  That’s not to say only the athletes who struggled at a young age to find better opportunities should be the only players to help. As a whole, leagues should be pushing everyone within their systems to help various causes to create a better society for future generations to be more successful.

With athletes beginning to use their platform to create and promote social change in different aspects in our American culture, it is only a matter of time before fans and followers begin to join the movement of creating a better world.

Long is creating a positive example of changing society for the future of America. He is creating a movement people will eventually follow when they realize this is allowing kids to receive an education that will benefit them in the future.

Even though his organization is meant to help his hometown of Charlottesville, it is a big step for the city, and Long did not have to do this. Hopefully, his actions will push others to be more involved around the country and give everyone a chance to receive an education they deserve.

If Long was able to come to this decision of helping society in any way he can, whether money is necessary or not, I hope more athletes realize there is an endless amount of opportunities to help our society grow and better itself.

Dog parks would benefit community

by KACI LIVINGSTON//Staff Writer

There is something about seeing dogs running freely with each other that shines a little happiness in one’s heart.

In a college town, it is not uncommon for most residents to have a faithful dog companion. Although pups may not complain most of the time about staying in an air- conditioned apartment, at night when restless, owners surely will. If only there were a way to let your canine companions release all their conserved energy in a healthy, nondestructive way.

Many cities across the United States have at least one or more dog parks accessible to the public. During Christmas break, I went to Dallas and Houston, where I saw all of the multiple park options just for dogs. The parks ranged in variety from those with small lakes, structures used for training unique sets of skills and plots of grass that have been fenced in and claimed as a dog park.

As a resident of the city of Lubbock, I cannot understand why the city has not yet made a public dog park. Many people I know own a dog and complain of not having a place to take their dog to run around off of a leash with other four-legged friends. I am not the only person who supports having a fenced-in dog park in Lubbock. There have been numerous attempts to open one. However, for some unknown reason, it has yet to happen.

With an open space for dogs to run freely, there are many benefits not only for the dogs but the community as well. Since there are not any dog parks here in Lubbock or surrounding areas, people would be open to driving a short distance driven by the love of their pups, therefore increasing Lubbock visitors.

Some problems caused by dog owners at public parks that could be avoided by having a dog park include off-leash dogs. Unleashed dogs in parks pose a huge inconvenience to runners, children and to the dog owners themselves. However, if there were more accessible dog parks, owners would have a designated place to bring their off-leashed dogs without disturbing the others.

When having a dog that will be around people or just trying to improve social skills, dog parks can play a huge role. Since there are generally others enjoying the park, canines and their owners will be around. How hard is it to not want to pet every dog in one’s visual path? I can easily answer that with one word: impossible.

As there are other people at the park, strangers’ hands will grace the face or backs of many dogs. Because of the positive social interaction, dogs will benefit, and aggression could potentially be lessened in other instances with people passed on the street or at parks during walks.

As a dog mom to two beautiful dogs, I believe there are so many benefits for the community, as well as to individuals, that could be reaped from having a dog park in Lubbock.