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Cheeseburger Champions

Miss Friona Esperanza Santiago presented the First Place trophy and People's Choice award to the Hilmar Cheese Company cooking team at last week's 15th Annual Cheeseburger Festival. Their prize winning "QiQi Burger" consisted of a toasted bun, apricot chipotle sauce, grilled onions, smoked gouda, medium-well burger, habanero pepper jack, pineapple, and citrus slaw.

Fast friends help cancer patients, raising funds through golf

Parmer County and Hereford Cancer Coalitions

Those battling the frightening reality of cancer need all of the support they can get from family, friends, and community.

Two women from Hereford and Friona-Julie Butler, who fought a protracted battle with cancer personally as a young adult, and Jamie Lewellen, who has uplifted family and friends in the great battle, are well-aware of that need and have built a fast friendship by nurturing such support on an impressive and growing scale.

Together, these J&J girls have merged efforts to raise funds in support of cancer patients that have resulted in 201 grants to cancer patients in Parmer County totaling $102,100 since 2010, and $77,600 in grants to cancer patients in Hereford since December, 2016.

Jamie Lewellen of Friona, a very community-minded young woman, wanted to help family and friends battling cancer when she saw the financial and emotional toll that the fight imposed on them. She got involved in "Relay for Life" and other activities that raised substantial money in the cancer cause, but realized that the support dollars mostly left her community and went elsewhere.

Thinking there was a better way for the home crowd, she launched the Parmer County Cancer Coalition in 2010 with the help of husband, Greg, and family friend Jyl Grimsley to assist those battling cancer in her community with locally raised funds. Now, the Parmer County Cancer Coalition is administered by a 10-member board.

"Our first year we held a "Pink Out" and small fundraisers such as "Walk For A Cure" and T-shirt sales. My dream was to be able to give back to the community that has given so much to me and my family," Mrs. Lewellen explained.

In 2009, the Lewellens, who were golfers themselves, became involved in the Pudge Kendrick Memorial Golf Tournament after the passing of well-respected Friona golfer and community supporter H.K. "Pudge" Kendrick of Kendrick Oil in Friona. The initial tournament benefited the Friona golf course and the Parmer Medical Center. In 2011, it was decided that the proceeds from this new "annual" event would benefit the Parmer County Cancer Coalition.

While all of that was going on, Julie Butler went through her own very personal years-spanning battle with cancer and is now 10 years cancer free since her diagnosis and eventual stem cell transplant.

"The community of Hereford poured so much love and generosity into me and my family that I feel like I have a lifetime of giving back to do," said Ms. Butler.

"You're forced to learn a whole vocabulary of things you never wanted to when you're a cancer patient. Once I was able to, I wanted to find a way to give back."

While she had not met the Lewellens, she became aware of their success in raising funds for community-based support of cancer patients in Parmer County. She contacted them, asking advice on how to start a similar coalition in Hereford, and the Lewellens provided "tremendous support" in forming the Hereford Cancer Coalition that got going five years ago.

"We keep things simple for those diagnosed with cancer in the community. The last thing anybody wants when they get a diagnosis is paperwork. All we require is proof of residence and diagnosis, and that they are receiving treatment or are under hospice care.

"When we provide a grant to a patient, there are no restrictions on use of funds, it can go for gas for travel to doctor visits, for treatments or prosthetics and so forth. These are gifts of love from a community that cares," said Ms. Butler.

After the PK Memorial tourney moved to Hereford in 2015, the Lewellens and Butler opted to combine efforts and the tournament has turned into a big draw that has grown steadily into the primary fundraiser for both coalitions. Proceeds from the tourneys are split right down the middle between the Hereford and Parmer County cancer coalitions.

"We also receive amazing support from the Hereford High School Student Council and the Hereford school system overall is an amazing partner for the Hereford Cancer Coalition," Ms. Butler said.

Greg and Jamie Lewellen of the Parmer County Cancer Coalition and Julie Schlabs of the Hereford Cancer Coalition. (courtesy photo)

Friona grad earns Teacher of the Year award

Misty Turbeville was recently named Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021 at Hawley High School. She teaches Science and has just completed her third year at HHS. The city of Hawley is located 14 miles northwest of Abilene.

Misty graduated from Friona High School in 1994. She taught in the Clovis school system for 10 years before moving to Hawley. She taught in the Abilene school system for one year before joining the Hawley ISD. Misty is the daughter of Owen & Melody Drake of Friona.

Town Talk

The 2021 Feed the Future Snack Pak 4 Kids Auction Fundraiser will be on Saturday, July 31st. Concert Tickets and Directions are available at www.Alposbarn.com. 100% of Auction proceeds and donations will be used for the support of SP4K programs in Friona, Farwell, Texico, Bovina, Muleshoe, and surrounding communities. Ticket purchase for admission is separate and required. For more information contact Mckenzie Hettinga at 518-429-0585 or Ashley Nichols at 817-481-4708.


Friona Interbank has recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of Sylvia Rios' employment at the bank. Sylvia has worked as a full time Teller since April of 2006 and has announced her retirement plans. Her last day at Interbank will be on July 21, 2021. Congratulations Sylvia, we wish you all the best in the future!


Friona Vocational Agriculture Association will be hosting a pulled pork lunch on Friday, August 6th, at the Vet Industries parking lot. Each plate will cost $8 and has the pulled pork sandwich, potato salad, chips, and a drink. The fundraiser will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will continue until the food runs out. Delivery in Friona will be available if you order more than 10 plates. All the money that is raised will help local 4H, FFA, and FCCLA kids. Donations will also be accepted.


The 13th Annual Pudge Kendrick Memorial Golf Tournament will be next weekend on July 24th and 25th. There are 105 teams signed up for the tournament, which will be hosted at the John Pitman Golf Club in Hereford, Texas. This event raises funds for the Parmer County and Hereford Cancer Coalitions, which provide grants for local cancer patients.


A reminder that the City of Friona has passed a garage sale ordinance, which requires a permit for anyone that wants to have a garage sale. The permit is free but the seller must acknowledge that they will not post signs on public property or utility poles. The City will also help the seller by posting about the garage sale on social media.


The Farwell-Texico Border Town Days will be on Saturday, July 31st. The parade begins at KKR Park in Texico, NM at 11:00 a.m. Central Time and ends at the Farwell City Park. Live entertainment, food, and vendor booths will be from noon to 4:00 p.m. Central Time at the Farwell City Park.


Texas Hunter Education Requirements say that every hunter (including out-of-state hunters) born on or after Sept. 2, 1971 must successfully complete a Hunter Education Training Course. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has approved a Hunter Education Course in Muleshoe on Saturday, July 31st, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The minimum age for certification is 9 years old and the class will cost $15. Registration is available at https://tpwd.elementlms.com/find-classes/. If you have any questions you can contact the instructor Gary Vaughn at 806-778-5140 or gvaughn5@hotmail.com.


National Days

July 22:

Mango Day

July 23:

Vanilla Ice Cream Day

July 24:

Cowboy Day

July 25:

Parents' Day

July 26:

Aunts and Uncle's day

July 27:

Creme Brulee Day

July 28:

Waterpark Day



Jurors to Report

Parmer County jurors that will be reporting for duty on Tuesday, July 27 will meet at the

Farwell Community Center

207 9th Street, Farwell, Texas

We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to the large number of jurors that have been summoned, we will be processing potential jurors at the Farwell Community Center in advance of trial.

If you have any questions, please contact the Parmer County Sheriff's Office at (806) 481-3303.


51st season of SDW is a wrap

The 51st season of the Summer Drama Workshop wrapped up production this past weekend. The annual event sponsored by the Friona Fine Arts Council to help kids develop and enhance their acting skills capped off its two week run with public performances that included pirates, witches, and twenty reasons not to even be in a play. Due to construction at the high school, all rehearsals and performances took place in the Friona Junior High Auditorium this year. Directors for SDW 2021 were Allison Johnston, Joy Morton, and Shawn Oakley Farrar.

As usual, the main question is how does the director of the Elementary Show manage to herd cats for two weeks and then produce a show that "wows" parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents? Allison Johnston has been working her magic for the past 34 years and this year marked her farewell voyage via a stage full of pirates. Allison retired from Friona ISD earlier this year and her talents, dedication, and love for kids will be greatly missed. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors!

Many Friona families have had multi-generational interactions with one Joy Morton. These family legacies are proof of her longevity. One such example is the Frye-Smiley-Gutierrez family. Kim (Frye) Smiley was a student in Joy's English 4 class during the 1978-79 school year. Fast forward to Kim's son, Haden, who was a drama, debate, and SDW disciple under her tutelage from 2011-2015. Continuing the lineage is Grayson Gutierrez, son of Kim's daughter Ashley and husband Jason Gutierrez. This year, Grayson was the Jester in "Pegora the Witch" under the watchful eye of director Joy Morton - the teacher, the mob, the legend.

FHS drama instructor Shawn Oakley Farrar directed an all-female cast in "20 Reasons Not to Be in a Play" which highlighted the acting chops that Friona students have displayed during the past few months. FHS had one of its most successful One Act Play (OAP) this year and the future looks even brighter. See you next year!

(l-r) Kim (Frye) Smiley, Grayson Gutierrez, Haden Smiley, and Joy Morton

Joy presents Allison with a plaque to commemorate 34 years in SDW