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Gushers & Dusters: A weekly look at what we liked — and didn't

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GUSHER: For the official kickoff of the Greater Longview United Way’s 75th fundraising campaign. The nonprofit organization held an event this past week in which the 2022-23 campaign goal of $1,075,000 was announced. Executive Director Evan Dolive told attendees about the many GLUW initiatives that benefit the community, including INFOline of Gregg County, which is a free information and referral service that acts as a bridge between people who need help and assisting agencies, and the yearly Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that helps low-income families and residents with free tax preparation. And that doesn’t include the financial help that GLUW offers annually to other nonprofit organizations that translates into food, rent, utility and other assistance for community members. To learn more about the campaign or to donate, go to www.longviewunitedway.org .

GUSHER: For a Longview business owner’s election to a leadership post in a national nonprofit organization. Carmela Davis, a CPA who also operates the seasonal Carmela’s Magical Santa Land, was sworn in recently as national president of AMBUCS. According to its website, AMBUCS is a nonprofit organization with a mission statement of: “Inspiring people to conquer challenges related to mobility and independence through a nationwide network of volunteer chapters, working in partnership with physical, occupational and speech therapists; by providing Amtryke adaptive trykes, scholarships for therapists and many forms of community service.” Longview Too Ambucs has been active in the community since its inception in 1991, especially when it comes to distributing Amtrykes to children with disabilities. Davis said she has been with the charitable group in Longview since it started. “It’s pretty exciting,” she told us about her new role. “My biggest thing is to be the cheerleader and to be the leader for all the chapters across the United States and be their person to go to and direct them.” Congratulations to Davis on the honor.

GUSHER: For the latest book vending machine gifted to a local school. The United Way’s Read to Succeed initiative aims to benefit area children by providing schools and other nonprofit groups with the $5,000 machines. Kilgore ISD’s Chandler Elementary School and Spring Hill Intermediate School were the first of six campuses to receive a machine through the initiative. This past week, Pine Tree Junior High School also was the beneficiary of the Read to Succeed program. Students can earn a token to “purchase” a book in several ways. As we’ve said before, programs such as this are important to stoke students’ interest in reading, not only during school but when class isn’t in session.

GUSHER: For Sabine ISD’s move to add a second full-time officer. Gregg County commissioners this past week approved an amendment to an interlocal agreement contract between Sabine ISD, the county and the sheriff’s office for the Law Enforcement Liaison Officer Program. Sabine ISD will station the officer at its elementary campus, which is the only school in the district that is separate from the other two campuses, said Superintendent Stacey Bryce. Not surprisingly, Bryce told us the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde spurred the district to add the extra officer. “In light of the way things are going in society and in light of the Uvalde school shooting, we felt like we needed more security than we have,” he said. “Our main concern here is of course the safety of the kids and the staff, so we feel like having an officer out there would add to our security at school.”

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