Rockport Mayor Pat Rios has recently presented the “Spirit of Rockport” Award to members of city Citizen Advisory Committees, the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department, and Castaways Thrift Store. The award was developed to recognize individuals and organizations that exemplify the unique spirit of Rockport and go above and beyond to make the community a better place.

Members of the Citizens’ Advisory Boards were recognized for their time, input and guidance. They are instrumental in developing policies and procedures, new programming, and long-term plans. They include:

• Comprehensive Plan Update - Patricia Albin, Monica Burdette, Nancy Bolting, Elizabeth Brundrett, Sylvia Combs, Ginger Easton-Smith, Christine Hale, John Jackson, and Suzanne Villa

• Parks and Leisure Services - Ray A. Garza, David Rodriguez, Jenny Vander Pluym, and Leo Villa

• Planning and Zoning - Ruth Davis, Maynard Green, Warren Hassinger, Kim Hesley, Kent Howard, Diana Severino-Saxon, and Ric Young

• Zoning Board of Adjustments - Jeanetta Davis, Carey Dietrich, Warren Hassinger, Leo Villa, and Ric Young

Since 1885, the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department has dedicated itself to saving lives and protecting property. Per their mission statement, they are committed to providing residents the best possible service in a courteous, professional, and cost-effective manner, to assure that every person who contacts the fire department receives satisfaction to the best of its ability.

They achieve this through continuous education, training, and community involvement, while maintaining the safest working environment possible. Under the leadership of Fire Chief Steve Sims, Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Grimes, and Captains Aaron Guerrero, Gillian Cox, Joe Carvajal, and John Carvajal, the 65 firefighters and members of the Fire Corp provide a vital service to the community, which not only saves lives and property, but also decreases the cost of homeowner and rental insurance for residents.

Volunteers with Castaways and representatives of First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Peace Lutheran Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church work tirelessly to generate and accept donations, stock the shop in a clean, retail setting, manage the registers, and assist with the loading and unloading of materials.  One may donate to the organization, commonly referred to as the “shop,” or any of the five church partners, which share a percentage of their sales that go towards Castaways operating costs.

Castaways has infused more than $1.3 million in the community to youth activities, history and arts, animal rescue, social services, and volunteer first responders in the past five years.

In 2019, Castaways awarded more than $438,000 in grants. Although Castaways is currently closed to protect the health of its volunteers and community, they are accepting applications for the coming year.

The City of Rockport is accepting nominations for the “Spirit of Rockport” award and presentations will be made at council meetings. Additionally, the City seeks to recognize the oldest living resident and the first child to be born in 2020.

Nomination forms are available on the Sesquicentennial page of the City’s web site https://cityofrockport.com/722/Sesquicentennial.

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