Fun In The Sun

Fiesta In The Sand: Members of SPJST Lodge No. 40, El Campo-Hillje, decided to build a sombrero style sand creation for a contest during the organization’s state-wide “Getaway Weekend” a couple of weeks ago in Corpus Christi. The group won the People’s Choice’ from votes cast on Facebook. Pictured from left to right are Trianna Manzano, Sky Garcia (kneeling), Maysen Manrriquez, Addy Manzano, Kelly Taylor, Inez Arismendez, Aiyana Gonzalez and Kierra Taylor.

As one last chance to enjoy the summer and some friendly competition, 30 SPJST lodges across the state of Texas converged at Corpus Christi’s Emerald Beach Hotel for the fraternal organization’s annual “Getaway Weekend” Friday through Sunday, Aug. 10-12.

A Friday evening party kicked off the weekend with fun and food. This included contests for kolache eating, Czech spelling bee, hula hoop contest and limbo as well as crafts and DJ music.

Then on Saturday a full day of activities started with a horseshoe tournament and sand sculpture contest in which SPJST Lodge 40 from El Campo-Hillje was the People’s Choice award winner. Their winning design was a sombrero for the Fiesta-themed challenge.

“This was the 12th annual Get Away,” leader Cathy Garcia said. “We have always done the sand sculpture and this is the first time for us to win.”

“SPJST Lodge 40, El Campo-Hillje’s post about the sand sculpture had 137 likes/comments/shares and it reached 1,825 people during the five hours of time that we asked people to vote on it,” SPJST home office Director of Communication Melanie Zabodny said.

When trying to come up with an idea for the Fiesta themed sculpture, Garcia said the group discussed several other options, like a pinata of a donkey, but the sombrero was the final consensus among the group of 11 members.

“They decided to go for the tallest category ... perhaps the sombrero would be in this category,” Garcia said.

Other activities during the day included the summer beach olympics and horseshoe tournament, followed by a noon luncheon, 42 domino tournament, Bunco tournament and finally a fiesta-themed party.

In addition to this fun summer activity, the lodge also does good deeds in their community, like highway cleanup, working on projects at the Hillje Hall, such as painting the cement curb markers, and other service projects.

“SPJST is a good rounded program,” Garcia said. “The only requirement is you have to purchase a life insurance policy with SPJST, but it’s not only about insurance.”

SPJST has seven districts throughout the state of Texas. The youth groups participate in local club activities, as well as contests on the district and state level in areas of crafts, food, hobbies, sewing, talent and more.

SPJST involves the whole family with both adult and youth clubs for each lodge. And “you don’t’ have to be Czech to join,” she said.

If you have a child in the El Campo area who would like to join Lodge 40, give Garcia a call at 979-332-1614.

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