Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

December 19, 2012

Singing with your ringing?

The Salvation Army bell ringers are out in force again this year, but one adds his own touch to the ring-a-ling.

ATHENS — The Salvation Army bell ringers are out in force again this year, but one adds his own touch to the ring-a-ling.

Mark Blanck, house manager at Chapman House in Eustace, sings along with his bell. His rich baritone beckons shoppers from across the Walmart parking lot to the donation kettle.

“I did it one day and they said they wanted to invite me back this Friday from noon to 5 p.m.,” Blanck said.  “Last time, I was scheduled for two hours, but I stayed for about four. The guys who came after me said I could stay as long as I want. It’s all in good fun.”

Blanck has sung in church choirs and loves Christmas carols. A few years ago, while living in McKinney, he started adding his vocals to the ding-dong-ding of the Salvation Army bell.

“I sing on key, but I don’t have any kind of operatic voice,” Blanck said. “I love the Lord and use my singing to reach out a little bit.”

Blanck said his singing has drawn a lot of interesting reactions through the years.

“I sang at a parking lot in Frisco and here came this lady from the other end of the parking lot,” Blanck said. 

“She was grinning ear to ear. When she got up to me she leaned over and said, ‘You sound a lot better from out there than you do up close.’”

Blanck said some of the older people aren’t shy about getting into the act.

“They break into a harmony and sing better than I do,” Blanck said.

Singing for hours doesn’t seem to bother him. If his throat gets a little tired, he’ll just whistle a few until he’s rested.

“Once in McKinney, I was whistling a Christmas carol and a lady put her face right up next to mine and said, ‘I’ve never heard anything like that,”’ Blanck said. “She didn’t put anything in the kettle, though.”

The singing is fun, Blanck said, but getting money in the pot is the ultimate goal.

“The Salvation Army is one of the most efficient charities,” Blanck said. “They do a lot of good and I’m happy to do this to help.”

Text Only
Local News
  • ADR logo.tif Third elementary school to replace Athens Intermediate School

    The Athens Independent School District school board approved campus realignment Monday that will go into effect for the 2015-16 school year.
    While full details of the plan are still being discussed, the district unanimously approved adding a third elementary school, while doing away with the intermediate level.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0128.JPG Laying Splash Pad bricks

    Workmen from Rosenberg’s Outdoor Designs of Athens are shown installing bricks purchased by individuals, businesses and other organizations at the Kiwanis Park Splash Pad.  Shown, left to right, are: Nick Rosenberg, owner of the company; Jonathan Perez and Gutierrez Concepcion.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Burton’s severance approved

    The Athens City Council on Monday narrowly approved a budget amendment from reserves, to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who is retiring at the end of 2014.
    Mayor Jerry Don Vaught and council members Monte Montgomery and Tres Winn entered yes votes, while Joe Whatley and Charles Elliott opposed the adjustment.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Sanders readies proposed budget

    Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders has his proposed budget ready for submission, with the numbers reflecting revenues slightly above last year.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Academically-weighted courses discussed at CRISD meeting

    A concern about how elective courses in the Cross Roads Independent School District are academically-weighted was discussed at Monday night's school board meeting to determine a student's class rank.
    The board of trustees decided to let the issue extend to a further meeting to work on rewording the change in the student handbook.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0127.JPG McDonald’s coming to Mabank

    The corner of North First Street and North Third Street in Mabank is about to look a lot different as a construction crew broke ground Monday.
    A formal ceremonial groundbreaking will be held within the next week to welcome McDonald's to the location just off of Highway 175.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Funeral held for 15-year-old drowned Eustace student

    Funeral services were held on Sunday for a 15-year-old Eustace student who drowned Thursday evening after diving into Cedar Creek Lake.
    The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the drowning. According to reports, a medical emergency call came to 9-1-1 shortly after 5 p.m. from Timber Bay in the Payne Springs area.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 PSCA open house.jpg PSCA seeks new student enrollment

    “Striving to make a difference in each child for eternity,” reads the motto of one local private school seeking new enrollment.
    Payne Springs Christian Academy is looking to enroll new students for the 2014-2015 school year.
    “We are in need of some kids this year,” said Amanda Beets, a mother of one of the school's current students.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Lightfoot-Miller Cemetery to dedicate historical marker

    The Texas Historical Commission, Henderson County Historical Commission and descendants of those who are buried in the Lightfoot-Miller Cemetery invite the public to the dedication of a historical marker at the property.
    The observance is set for 10 a.m. on Aug. 2.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 HCHS.jpg ‘Party for the Paws’ event great success

    The Henderson County Humane Society in Athens as well as  Beckham are continuing to celebrate results of the Party For The Paws fundraiser.  Beckham is a dog that was recently adopted from the HCHS.
    HCHS Treasurer Ellen Barton commends those who were involved in the event’s planning and execution. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo