Proceeds of Christmas lighting contest in Liberty presented to Rainbow Room

Cyndie Abshire (second from right) accepts checks for $450 from some of the sponsors of Light Up Liberty, a Christmas lighting contest for Liberty. The contest was founded by Betty Runkle, owner of The Health Fix, and sponsored by Meadow Noyer AllState, Bluebonnet News, Precision Lawns and the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Pictured left to right are Mary Anne Campbell with the chamber, Runkle, Abshire and Meadow Noyer.

Organizers of the Light Liberty Up, a Christmas decorating contest for the city of Liberty, on Friday, presented checks totaling $450 to Cyndie Abshire, president of Liberty County Child Welfare Board.

The money – generated by contest entry fees and donations – will be used to restock LCCWB’s Rainbow Room, which provides emergency supplies, such as diapers, clothing, formula, bottles, hygiene supplies and toiletries for children who are removed or at risk of being removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse. 

Each of the eight participating businesses in the contest paid a $25 entry fee. The sponsors of the contest – The Health Fix, Meadow Noyer AllState, Precision Lawns, Bluebonnet News and Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce – chipped in to bring the total donated to $450.

The Liberty County Child Welfare Board was formed on Feb. 27, 1978, through Liberty County Commissioners Court. Liberty County was one of the first Texas counties to form such a board, according to Abshire.

“The board was created to work hand in hand with commissioners on issues that relate to the needs of foster children in Liberty County. We have an all-volunteer board with members who have a heart for the children of Liberty County,” Abshire said. “Some of our board members are retired school teachers. We try to have representation on the board from each end of the county. Currently, we have one vacancy with the loss of John Hebert.”

Hebert, who was treasurer of the organization at the time of his death and served many terms as president, passed away in 2020.

Not all of the money donated to Rainbow Rooms goes toward children removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse. Oftentimes, caseworkers with Children’s Protective Services, will pick up cleaning supplies from the Rainbow Room to help a family avoid removal by cleaning up their home and making it safe for their children.

“The caseworkers work to keep children in their own home if at all possible,” Abshire said.

With a never-ending need for items for the Rainbow Room, the Child Welfare Board relies on donations from the community.

“We have a wish list year-round,” she said.

To make a donation or to find out ways you can help, send an email to Abshire at or call 936-402-3194. Items may also be dropped off at the CPS office that serves all of Liberty County. It is located at 1405 Monta St., Liberty.

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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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