Sunday March 2, The Starlight Theatre will host a benefit for the Terlingua Food Program, affiliated with the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend. Pat O’Bryan, Founder of Terlingua Cares, is coordinating the benefit. He says the event will include an auction and music.
KRTS News spoke with Sara Stropoli, Executive Director of the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend (“FCCBB”), who said she was impressed with how Terlingua responds to the needs of the community. She said the Terlingua Outreach Center of the FCCBB would be virtually non-existent if it weren’t for its advocate, Mike Drinkard.
“I wish I could clone him,” said Stropoli. “He works for next to nothing, but fulfilling the needs that exist there is his passion. While we don’t want people to become dependent on it we absolutely want them to see it as a step to becoming self-sufficient. We realize that people work very, very hard but even though they work very, very hard, it’s not enough in a ravaged economy. Mike makes sure that we’re there for those people.”
Stropoli added that its the need for financial resources in general that keep her up at night:
“I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it. We just need to find the resources to keep the Terlingua Outreach Center open and to lift this heavy burden.”
In an interview with KRTS, Mike Drinkard played down his role with the Center, but highlighted those of its supporters.
“Last year, a gentleman who visited our area from New Mexico donated thousands of dollars worth of whole grain products from Arrowhead Mills. He delivered it at his own expense. We would love more of this kind of donation.”
Drinkard said a local Baptist church once provided a similar food distribution service but they stopped it several years ago. The Terlingua Center normally gets its food from the West Texas Food Bank. “Some of the food products are free and some we have to buy,” said Mike. “We feed approximately 150 households a month from here.” Among those serviced between October 2012 and November 2013, one-third were children and one-fourth were seniors or disabled citizens.
Those interested in contributing can find information here: Pledge Form. Also, on Saturday March 1, the Terlingua Center of the FCCBB hosts the 11th Annual Desert Chihuahuan Challenge in Terlingua Ghost Town. Information at (432) 371-3147.
Sharron Reed is a resident of Terlingua and a correspondent for KRTS/Marfa Public Radio.