Jeff Carolyn Cody

Jeff and Carolyn Cody

The East Cleburne Community Center provides a safe haven for Cleburne and area residents for recreation, education, mentoring, health awareness and socialization.

To honor those who contribute to the center’s mission, the ECCC hosts an awards banquet each year.

The 33rd annual D.L. Barrett Awards Banquet and silent charity auction begins at 7 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Cleburne Conference Center, 1501 W. Henderson St.

Named after ECCC’s founder, the Rev. D.L. Barrett, the banquet provides the opportunities to recognize ordinary people in the community who have gone above and beyond normal expectations.

ECCC Chairman Dexter Baldwin said the event is always a good representation of the spirit of Cleburne.

“There are people of all walks of life that attend, and it is a great way to support the efforts of the East Cleburne Community Center,” he said. 

Baldwin said the ECCC’s main goal with youth is to inspire and influence at-risk and underprivileged young people to set goals.

“Whether it’s education, whether it’s an entrepreneurial spirit or progressing in life despite their present circumstances,” he said. “We have many success stories of people who have come up through our 32 years. People we believe we have helped progress in life and reached their goals.”

Baldwin said recipients for this year’s awards include those for outstanding community service, outstanding humanitarian service and outstanding youth service.

The Cleburne Citizen’s on Patrol will receive the award for outstanding community service.

“This mostly volunteer effort by our local citizens work side-by-side with our police department to keep our community safe Baldwin said. “We appreciate their time and effort to make Cleburne a better place.”

The Bread Connection, a ministry of First Christian Church, will receive the award for outstanding humanitarian service.

“They are a nonprofit, faith-based organization that distributes bread, pastries, meat and other items throughout Johnson County,” Baldwin said. “They work with a lot of other organizations that work with seniors and local citizens that may be in need of assistance.”

Smith Middle School student Emily Nelson will receive the award for outstanding youth service.

“We are recognizing Emily for her work through the Legos for Little Warriors,” Baldwin said. “In recognition of her taking up the mantle on that effort to bring some cheer to kids who are suffering from cancer.”

Two students from Cleburne High School will also each be granted a $500 scholarship.

Baldwin said the students who receive the scholarship maintained a high GPA and displayed exemplary involvement in extracurricular activities and service in the community.

Baldwin said students can apply for a scholarship through Cleburne High School’s counseling office. The deadline to apply is Feb. 17

Jeff Cody and his wife, Carolyn, will serve as this year’s honorary chairs.

Carolyn Cody encourages all to attend.

“It is a fun, enjoyable evening and it will bless your spirits,” she said. “We raise money for a good cause. The East Cleburne Community Center just serves so many children and senior adults. It is a great organization.”

A night of fun

Seats for the banquet are $35 and can be purchased at the ECCC, 602 Olive St. They can also be purchased at the door.

There will be dinner and entertainment provided by the CHS jazz orchestra.

There will also be a silent auction with everything from sports memorabilia to outdoor furniture.

Sponsorship packages ranging from $350 to $4,000 or more are also available. Proceeds from the event will fund programs at the ECCC that focus on after school programs.

Some programs include a kid’s night out, community library, college prep classes, tutoring, how-to seminars, music and athletic classes and seniors bingo.

Although ECCC provides services and programs for all ages, the focus remains on Johnson County’s younger generation.

For tickets or more information, call the center at 817-556-3716.

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