Winner of holiday lighting contest announced

Simplee Southern and Generations, 1804 and 1806 Sam Houston Ave., Liberty

Bluebonnet News’ Facebook followers have picked a winner in the Light Liberty Up contest sponsored by The Health Fix, Meadow Noyer AllState, Precision Lawns, Bluebonnet News and the Liberty-Dayton Chamber of Commerce.

A gallery of the entries was posted to Bluebonnet News’ Facebook page with each “like” of a photo counting as one point and each “love” counting as two points.

Coming in first place is the joint effort by Generations Coffee and Sandwich Shop and Simplee Southern Grace, located on the 1800 block of Sam Houston across from the Daniel Pavilion. The entry featured multiple lighted Christmas trees and a deer, swag lights and outdoor tables and chairs that appear to be dusted with snow.

Generations is a cozy place to have breakfast, brunch or lunch. Next door, at Simplee Southern Grace, people can shop for women’s clothing and apparel. As the winners of the contest, the two businesses will be featured in an upcoming article on Bluebonnet News.

R.A. Smith is located at 1818 Sam Houston St., Liberty.

In second place is R.A. Smith Gifts, owned by Pat Smith. R.A. Smith Gifts is a shop that offers clothing, flags, rugs, swings, kitchen towels, Jim Shore collectibles and antiques.

The other participants in the contest were (in no particular order): Tarver Abstract, Great Beginnings Preschool and Kindergarten, Texas Farm Bureau, Milam Tire and Auto, The Bark Resort and Novedades Blanca.

All of the participating businesses paid a $25 entry fee. All of the proceeds, along with donations from The Health Fix, Bluebonnet News and Meadow Noyer AllState, will be presented to The Rainbow Room staff in the coming week.

Betty Runkle, creator of the contest, expects the donation to The Rainbow Room will be around $300. Rainbow Room provides emergency supplies, such as diapers, clothing, formula, bottles, hygiene supplies and toiletries for children who are removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse. Oftentimes, these children come into the care of CPS without the basic necessities of life.

“I want to thank everyone for participating. We want to do it again next year but we will be starting earlier to give people more time to prepare and decorate,” Runkle said.

Runkle said the contest was inspired by the movie, “Buddy the Elf.”

“There’s a line in the movie that says, ‘The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing a song loud for all to hear.’ Well, since I can’t sing loudly for all to hear, I thought we would have a lighting contest for all to see,” Runkle said.

This year, in particular, it was important for people to feel Christmas cheer, she said.

“A lot of businesses have been hit hard by COVID and the shutdowns. They have been unsure of what lies ahead. We’ve had floods, destruction, political turmoil, civil unrest and COVID. It’s a lot,” she said. “I just want to remind everyone that we are all in this together and together we can get through this and make amazing things happen in our community.”

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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