GALVESTON — Seniors in the county have a unique way to commemorate our nation’s birthday as SeniorShare of Galveston County will host its fifth annual “Celebrate America” event.

The event will take place Wednesday at Nessler Center from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and welcomes all ticket-holding seniors to participate in door prizes, sing-a-longs, a cyclone cash machine, barbecue and lessons in home-safety.

Kevin Yackly, owner of Grand Prize Barbeque and founder of SeniorShare Program of Galveston County, recommends those in attendance wear their best and most outrageous patriotic outfit for the dress-up contest.

“We have a red white and blue dress contest,” Yackly said. “The winner gets an LCD TV.”

Additionally, there will be a cyclone cash booth that seniors can enter to grab as much swirling cash as possible. 

Themed like the popular game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” prizes will be given out to the seniors, but it is up to them whether they want to keep it or risk it for a chance at something better. 

Galveston County judges Patricia Grady, Mark Henry, Lonnie Cox, Michelle Slaughter and County Commissioner Ryan Dennard will determine the winner of the dress-up contest, host the game prizes and speak to the crowd. Texas City Mayor Matthew Doyle will also make a guest appearance. 

Furthermore, veterans will be recognized in the crowd for their past military service by having each member stand up in accordance to his branch’s theme song.  

Yackly is catering his barbecue via buffet line at the event. Volunteers will bring food to the table for those unable to stand in line.  

Yackly commends those donating their time for the event, but urges more people to call him to volunteer.

“We are still looking for volunteers who want to help us,” he said. “We have about 50 volunteers right now. We need about 100.”

Although the festival is focused on bringing joy to seniors for the holiday, Yackly also wants the event to be an informative experience for the seniors. 

“This year, our theme is how to recognize elder abuse and how to report it,” he said.

Additionally, the Texas City Police Department and fire department and the Galveston Police Department will speak about home safety and how to keep cool during the summer months.  

Yackly will be giving away the final 200 tickets at his restaurant Sunday morning, located at 223 Palmer Highway, Texas City. The tickets are free and will be given to the first who claim them. He advises those interested in acquiring tickets to arrive early. In previous years, some seniors showed up as early as 7 a.m. to wait in line for tickets, Yackly said. 

Six-hundred and twenty-five seniors are expected to be at the event.



At a glance

What: SeniorShare Program of Galveston County’s “Celebrate America”

When: Wednesday, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Nessler Center, 2010 5th Ave. N., Texas City

CALL: Kevin Yackly, 281-389-7590


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