Several prizes were awarded at the 2021 Help A Child events, but the true winners will be the children who will benefit from the annual fundraiser. All proceeds from the event will be divided among Scottish Rite Hospital, Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center and three local foster families, to help support children who have been or are alleged to have been abused, neglected or have certain medical maladies that require specialized care.
Approximately $15,000 to $16,000, funding allowing, will go to the Masonic Lodges who put on the Help A Child event to be awarded later in scholarships to assist local youth in their pursuit of a higher education or post secondary training. The Lodges will then apply to the Grand Lodge of Texas for a funding match of up to $3,000, which would mean roughly $30,000 in scholarships for students at schools within the participant Lodges’ service area.
This year’s sponsors included the following Masonic Lodges; Columbia Lodge No. 81, Hopkins County Lodge No. 180, Sulphur Springs Lodge No. 221, Sulphur Bluff Lodge No. 246, Greenville Lodge No. 335, Yantis Lodged No. 382, Commerce Lodge No. 439, Caddo Mills Lodge No. 581, Mount Vernon Lodge No. 691, Gus Garrison Lodge No. 1273 of Winnsboro, and Emory-Mars Hill Lodge #1440. Several, in addition to serving as hosts, also entered cook teams in the cookout as well.
This year’s fundraiser add three new events, a Cattle Show which reportedly drew more than 100 livestock entries from local youth, a cornhole tournament, and Clydesale carriage rides and photos. Bounce houses were provided near the cook sites for children to enjoy during the benefit. In addition to the projects prepared and auctioned during the Ira Black FFA Project Show, several local individuals and businesses donated items for silent and live auctions as well. Many local businesses contributed as well to help cover costs and provide supplies needed to host the vent. Help A Child Committee members thanked all of the contributors, volunteers participants and visitors without whom the event could not be held nor continue to be a success for the children served at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital and NETCAC, as well as those in the three foster families.
Fifteen different teams participated in the chili cook off, including some whose commitment to helping children’s charities keep them coming back year after year and a few whose schedules opened up to or who had recently learned about the cook off and participated for the first time this year. with top bragging rights and a trophy going to the Bobby Neal family. At auction, a quart of the Neals’ chili sold for $100.
Second place honors in the Chili Cookoff went to the Roadkill BBQ team. A quart of their chili sold for $25.
The third place chili entry was prepared by the Luck U team. A quarts of the team’s chili sold for $25 at auction as well.
The 2021 Help A Child Brisket Cookoff drew six entries, with first place honors going to Mo Duff’s Barb-B-Q.
The second place brisket was prepared by Wayne Bartley and Larry Rose.
Receiving third place in the brisket contest was the Sulphur Springs High School Construction group.
The beans contest drew only three contestants, so only one award was presented. The first place winner in this contest was the cook team of Wayne Bartley and Larry Rose. Bartley has been cooked at the event since its creation, and is known for his peach cobbler.
Ira Black FFA Shop Project Show & Auction
The Ira Black FFA Shop Project Show & Auction featured not only shop projects such as tables, fire pits, wooden toolboxes, a lounge chair metal home décor and cutouts, a bench and other items, but also an arts and crafts competition and recognition for cookie creations all created by area high school FFA and FCCLA students. Projects were then sold at auction, with proceed benefitting the children’s charities supported by the Help A Child Benefit.
Both first and second place honors in the arts and crafts and flora design contest went to Como-Pickton students.
Recognized for their cookie creations, large platters of elaborately decorated treats was the Saltillo FCCLA. The students also submitted baked breads and cakes they made and donated to for the auction.
The 2021 Ira Black FFA Project Show grand champion trophy went home with Como-Pickton FFA students, who built a patriotic table. Honorable mention went to the Sulphur Springs Construction class’s cedar chair, Sulphur Springs FFA’s fire pit and grill as well as a picnic table constructed by Sulphur Springs FFA as well. The winning patriotic table was auctioned to Farm Country for $1,000.
Another component of the benefit is a raffle item. This year Faulk Company and Como-Pickton FFA partnered to donate a brand new Polaris Ranger 500, 4×4 with trailer. Twice as many tickets for chances to win the prize were sold this year than last, due in part to the additional Masonic Lodges that partnered to help sponsor the Help A Child Benefit this year, acording to Wade Bartley, who not only got the event started but who continues to help ramrod it annually.
All entries were dropped into a tote with a lid, shaken up, then five names were drawn by a small child, a family member of one of the Help A Child Committee members . Those five names were placed into a bucket, shaken up. Another girl attending the event, Madelyn M., was asked to draw from the bucket the winning ticket. The four-wheeler and trailer went to Robert Fisher of Emory.