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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 17, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2003 MMP? COMINGSUNDAV Evan Payne shines on SVHS sidelines. Section B Herald-Zeitung To have your event publicized, contact Features Editor Brian Grant at 625-9144, ext. 222, or by e-mail at [email protected] com "This Christmas, my life is blessed because I have peace, love and me and my family." — Patricia Guerra New Braunfels SHOW TIMES ARTS JESSE LOTT RETROSPECTIVE When: Warn, to 6 p.m. Monday andWednesday, Warn. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to6p.m Sunday through Jan. I,2004 Where: New Bmunfels Museum of Art and Music, 1259 GrueneRoad Tickets: $3 adults, $2 seniors and students, free for children under 12 Information: 625-5636, or ETC., ETC., ETC. New Braunfels Art League Gallery holiday show with affordable art and gifts When: IO am. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday Where: New Bmunfels Art League Gallery, 239 W. San Antonio St. Information: 629-8022 U ‘WIZARD OF OZ* Auditions; IO adults, 40 children, one dog needed When: 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday for children 5 to 12 at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery; 4 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday for adults and teens at the Brauntex Theatre Information: 627-0808 MUSIC W** ARION SEAY BAND CONCERT When: 7 p.m. today Where: Arian Seay Intermediate School 20911 Texas 46 W., Spring Branch CAROLING ONTHE PLAZA Sponsored by the Greater New Bmunfels Arts Council When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday Where: Main Plaza Information: 625-4248 SPECHT ELEMENTARY HOLIDAY CONCERT When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday Where: Specht Elementary •School 25850 Overlook Parkway, San Antonio ARION SEAY HOLIDAY CONCERT When: 7 pm. Thursday Where: Adon Seay Intermediate School, 20911 Texas 46 W., Spring Bmnch COMAL ELEMENTARY/ HOFFMAN LANE Holiday concert When: 7 pm. Thursday Where: CHS Cougar DenOut of 200 gigs, Willie Nelson schedules 3 Texas shows For local charities, it’s a season of Service organizations, volunteer groups kick into overdrive during holidays By Bill Ervin Correspondent The Christmas season is the time of year when people think about God and goodwill more than they do any other time. It seems the nearer Christmas gets, the more people want to help others who are in need. People dig in their pockets for loose change or into their wallets for “folding money” to place in the Salvation Army Red Kettles. They help their churches and various service clubs and organizations with food, clothing, toys and cash to help brighten Christmas for the less fortunate. Collection boxes for annual drives for the Comal County Sheriff Department Green Santa program, the New Braunfels Police Department Blue Santa program and the New Braunfels High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC Toys for Tots are filled by people wanting to give something to help someone else. Veterans organizations have programs for needy families at Christmastime, as do many churches, service clubs and organizations like Lions, Rotary, Eagles and others. Employees of some businesses also collect, package Photo* by DAVID INQIIAM/Heraid-Zeitung    distribute food, clothing (Above) Rotarian Wayne Vrba rings his bell Tuesday morning in front of Target. This is Vrba's second year volunteering for the Salvation Army. (Below) SOS Food Bank volunteers Ray Bizer, left, and Jim Drawe prepare an order for a waiting customer. The two volunteer every Tuesday morning at the food bank. NOW TO MLR ■ The Salvation Army's Angel Tree is looated at Johnny Carino's Country Italian Restaurant. 1304 E. Common St Deliver gifts to the restaurant or the Salvation Army Service Center, 373-8 Landa St. Call 608-9129.    ____ ■ Donate Blue Santa suits, money or toys to the Blue Santa program. Call 620-3420._ ■ The Sheriff's Office Green Santa program is coordinated by Sharon Faulkner. Call 620-3420. ■ Master Sgt. Juan Medrano is coordinator of the JROTC Toys for Tots program Call 627-6156. ■ The SOS Food Bank, which provides food to needy families year round, can be reached at 625-1560. These programs would not exist without donations of money, food and other items, and volunteers to do the I “hands on” work. A significant number of I folks who sit by Salvation I Army kettles or pack and | deliver gift boxes can be found I helping other folks all year ; ’round. | Beth Dittmer is one such ; person. She is one of about 50 I people who take turns ring-I ing a little bell at Salvation j Army kettles in New Braun-| fels. A member of St. Paul I Lutheran Church in New I Braunfels, she said the church I provided several members to I help the Red Kettle program. “I ring the hand bells at : church, but this is different,” I Dittmer said, smiling. “I just I hold it with my thumb and two fingers and move it sideways.” She was wearing a red and green “elf’s” cap. “I usually wear a Santa cap, but just thought I’d wear this one today. I tell the kids I was helping Santa make the toys and took time off today to ring the bell,” she said. For Dittmer, as with many others, volunteering isn’t a seasonal thing. She is also a volunteer at Hope Hospice and is a member of the new 11th Hour program created so that “No one has to die alone.” The SOS Food Bank, a ministry of New Braunfels First Protestant Church, is operated year round entirely by volunteers. Frances Baird, treasurer and a longtime volunteer, said the SOS Food Bank is a United Way agency and also relies heavily on donations from businesses and individuals. Abel Gomez, owner of Abel’s Diner in Schertz, is vice president of the food bank and contributes regularly to the food bank’s stock. He also works with other First Protestant Church volunteers to pack and deliver food boxes to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He said 30 boxes are needed this Christmas. Not all programs have an abundance of volunteers. “I have four or five people who are very close and I can depend on,” said Sissy Jankowski, Blue Santa director. Plans call for the Blue Santa program to serve about 300 children from 105 families this year. Every so often, I like to check in with Willie Nelson’s camp, just to see how things are going with the Red Headed Stranger. Usually I give Paul English a call. I le’s been Willie’s drummer and best friend since 1966. He and I became friends after one ofWillie's shows at Gruene Hall Willie and family were on tour in California when I caught up with English. After a few weeks on the West Coast, the band will take a break for die holidays. This year, they will play more than 200 dates, an unheard of feat for a performer Willie’s age. While most singers release a new album each year, Willie recorded and released five CDs this year. He’s also nominated for a few Grammy Awards with pals Toby Keith and Norah Jones. In several cate gories, Nelson is competing against himself. English asked me to remind their fans here in Texas about some upcoming shows in the lune Star State. Firs tup is a show at the Austin Music Hall Jan. 3. Then it’s on to the SBG Center in San Antonio for an appearance at the Stock Show & Rodeo Feb. 21. Finally, March 21 at Reliant Stadium in I louston for their Stock Show & Rodeo. At press time, these were Willie’s only T exas appearances, but I’m sure others will be announced next year. As you know, Willie’s daughter, Lana, runs his Web site,, and recently posted the news that he has been having problems with his hands. It seems that years of guitar playing have started to affect his fingers, and he's been wearing a brace at night to help com bat the pain and numbness he’s experiencing. One drawback of this is that Willie has been unable to sign autographs after his shows. NNN Each week we try to keep you informed on all the local shows at Gruene Hall, Saengerhalle and other area venues. However, this week let’s take a look at some great concerts coming to San Antonio and Austin. Since our city is centrally located, we get the best of both worlds, shows at historic dancehalls and concerts at modem arenas like the SBC Center and Frank Erwin Center. In San Antonio, Mannheim Steamroller will feature their incredible holiday music Thursday at the SBG Center. Cowboys Dance Hall has a busy schedule featuring Dierks Bentley Friday, Bellamy Brothers on Jan. 9, Cory Morrow Jan. 23 and Chris LeDoux Jan. 30. Over at the Majestic Theater, there’s Chris Rock Jan. 16 and Sting Jan. 30. Hilary Duff, alias lizzie McGuire, plays the Municipal Auditorium Jan. IO. The old Freeman Coliseum welcomes Brooks & Dunn Jan. 17 with a scaled down version of their Wild West Show that played stadiums last year. Looking north to Austin, guitarist Chris Duarte plays the Saxon Pup Saturday. Dale Watson plays the Broken Spoke Dec. 26, and the Austin Music Hall welcomes Los Lonely Boys on New Years Eve and Travis Feb. 3. The Brooks & Dunn show makes at stop in Austin Jan. 31 at the remodeled Palmer Auditorium. Fast-rising star Rodney Hayden starts a string of Thursday night shows at the Wild Ride Saloon Jan. 8 through Feb. 26. DALEMARTIN Dale Martin writes about music. He can be reached at [email protected] most ;