ARKLATEX 100 CLUB SUPPORTS FIRST RESPONDERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN BOWIE AND MILLER COUNTIES
by LINDSEY MCMILLAN
When most people think of what it means to be a proud American, they think of members of law enforcement. Policemen, firemen and other first responders are consistently in the line of duty putting themselves before others to help our community. The ArkLaTex 100 Club was formed in 2016 as a direct response to concern for the safety and care of Texarkana’s brave men and women hard at work every day. The club began with the money raised from the first annual Clay’s Golf & Guitars event which is sponsored by the Clay Eichler Memorial Fund, a vision of both Dr. Ed and Gail Eichler in memory of their son. In 2015, after the first fundraiser for the club, $300,000 was generously raised to be of assistance to local first responders. The club has quickly grown as a non-profit organization which has a membership dedicated to supporting the families of police and firefighters. The club has generously granted $187,351 to first responder agencies across both Bowie and Miller counties.
Kelley Crisp serves as the club’s president and shares how many in the Texarkana community were alarmed by recent demonstrations and media attention against local police departments and wanted to show their support of these worthy professionals. She says, “We believe, earnestly, that concern and love for our neighbor has no greater demonstration than the willingness to lay down one’s life for another.” The club’s foremost mission is to provide immediate financial aid and support to the families of
those lost in the line of duty. Shelby Brown, founding and current board member, agrees adding, “This does not in any way make the pain go away, but we hope to lift some of the financial burden endured during this time. Our sincere hope is not to have to use these funds, but we will stand ready to give our support to those who give to us every day!” Shelby says that the club is also instrumental in providing much needed life-saving supplies and equipment to local first responders. Furthermore, updated technology and specialized training can be provided with such funds so that these groups may continue to serve our community to the best of their ability.
The ArkLaTex 100 Club wants others to know they are able to support the organization in a variety of ways. Their first fundraiser, Pull for Heroes, will be held on Saturday, March 2 of next year which will be a skeet shooting event. Donations may be mailed to the club’s address at 2801 Richmond Rd. Texarkana, Texas 75503. In addition, the next annual membership meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on July 26 at Texarkana College. Those wanting to get involved with the club are encouraged to attend, and current information can be found on their website, www.thearklatex100club.org. It takes a concerted effort of many to help this club continue its efforts to accomplish their mission of helping those who aid our community so selflessly. Another one of the many reasons Texarkana can be proud of such exemplary Americans.