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Highlands Chamber: Jamboree, DA race, sheriff’s services presented

Highlands Chamber of Commerce held their monthly luncheon last Thursday, with a full program of information on the 52nd Annual Highlands Jamboree, the upcoming election in November, and over 100 services and programs offered by the Harris County Sheriff’s department to the community.

Chamber representatives Kristy Stallings and president Jessica Woods told about the change in date of the Jamboree to Saturday, October 25, because of Hurricane IKE, and the wealth of events, some new, that will be present at the Jamboree.

The day will start with a Fun Run (1K and 5K) and a Bike Ride (12K) at 7 am from the Community Center. Everyone is welcome to enter, all participants that register early will receive a t-shirt. Walkers are also encouraged. Fees are Adults $15, Youth $10, Couples $25, and Families $45.

At 10 am, the Parade will go down Main Street, from Hopper School to Jones Road. The Parade Marshal will be the winner of the Terry Davis Award, James Brazzil, and the Organization of the Year will follow, the Highlands Rotary Club.

The parade theme this year is “ONCE UPON A TIME” and will consist of fire and police vehicles, business and organization floats, non-commercial floats, marching units and bands, classic cars, and much more. Judging and prizes will be awarded to the best units. Awards will be presented for Best of Theme, Best of Show, Best Non-Commercial, Best Commercial, School Spirit, and Antique Cars.

The Chamber has announced that the parade will take place, regardless of the weather, so prepare!

From 11am to 4pm, the Jamboree will take place at the Highlands Elementary School, both inside and outside. Crafts Booths, live and silent auctions, Karaoke, Kids Games, Food Booths, and entertainment will all be part of the celebration. Cub Scouts and 4H will be present, and a Blood Mobile from St. Luke’s Hospital will be present. This is especially important this year, since the hurricane depleted many of the blood supplies in the area. The goal is to raise 25 pints of blood during the day, so please help.

New events include a Little Miss and Mr. Highlands Pageant, and since it is close to Halloween, a Costume Contest with secret judges. BOOO. All winners of the children’s pageant will get to ride in next year’s parade, and everyone will receive a trophy. Entry fee is $35, ages are from Birth to 5th Grade.

In the afternoon, the Miss Highlands pageant will be presented at the Highlands Junior School, by the Highlands Horizons organization, and in the evening the Jr. Miss Highlands event will take place in the same location. Participants in the Pageant will be riding in the parade that morning.

Proceeds from the Jamboree, except as noted, go to benefit the Chamber and its ongoing programs for the community. Some of these include the Holiday food drive and dinners for about 60 families, Christmas Tree Lighting in the Park and on Main Street, Cookies and photos with Santa, Partners in Education and much more.

CANDIDATES PRESENT

Several candidates for public office were present at the luncheon, including Diane Trautman, who is running for Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, and Pat Lykos, running for Harris County District Attorney.

Trautman said she is running to bring ethical leadership to county government, and ensure fair tax appraisals for all homeowners. As part of her community outreach and involvement, she pointed out that her campaign literature mentions active membership in several Chambers, including Highlands, Humble, and Crosby/Huffman.

Pat Lykos spoke about her experience as a judge, police officer, and attorney. She promised to restore public trust and confidence to an office that has been notorious recently for misdeeds of the previous district attorney while in office. She also promised reforms to the prosecutor’s office, to build back its reputation, based on ethics and professionalism. She is in favor of a regional crime lab, community justice centers, and a revamping of the jail system, so that there is more room for serious offenders and less serious crimes can be referred to treatment centers.

SHERIFF’S PROGRAMS

Deputy Dan McCool presented a great deal of information on over 100 programs that his department has available to help various needs in the community. These include information on Identity Theft, National Night Out, Rape Prevention, Fingerprinting of Children, Citizens Police Academy (with Ride Along), Gizmo robot, Safe Kids programs with Car Seat demonstrations, Gang Awareness, Junior Achievement, D.A.R.E. drug awareness program, Red Ribbon substance abuse prevention, G.A.S.P. choking prevention in adolescents, and much more.

McCool emphasized that he wants to work with groups and individuals and schools in the community to provide information on safety and crime prevention.

OTHER EVENTS

Matt Forastier described the “Life After Ike” celebration to be held Sat. Nov. 15th at the Sterling- White Chapel grounds with community participation.