Local organizations help send teachers, students back to school in the Colony Ridge communities

Several Liberty County area community organizations - including Texas Familias Council, Precinct 6 Constable Zack Harkness’ office, Fish Tales restaurant, and Texas AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety Initiatives - have mounted special events designed to promote safety, security, health, and well-being to local residents.

The Colony Ridge communities near Plum Grove have recently enjoyed being chosen as the destination location of several recent events organized by various community organizations. In one week alone, free COVID-19 vaccinations have been given to families, local teachers enjoyed a special meal catered by a family favorite restaurant and hundreds of backpacks were distributed to local children at no cost.

Texas Familias Council created, organized, and hosted an event last Friday to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to residents of the Colony Ridge Communities. Council president Maria Banos Jordan, president of Texas Familias Council, was instrumental in giving residents a greater sense of health, security, and well-being with the drive-up to the vaccination site to receive the vaccines in the comfort of their cars. The first 200 residents aged 12 or older received Pfizer COVID vaccines free of charge.

Pine Burr Elementary staff were treated to a free lunch from Fish Tales in the days leading up to the start of school.

“This event was offered by the state of Texas and administered by the Texas Emergency Maintenance Department and the Texas National Guard,” said Jordan. “Trusted community partners are essential to the success of our efforts.” 

The mission of the Texas Familias Council is to support families and inspire inclusive communities. All initiatives are volunteer-driven and coordinated by Council committees consisting of diverse and respected area leaders and organizations. Council programs are provided at no cost to communities. The Council is a nonpartisan organization that welcomes elected officials and leaders committed to supporting diverse populations, regardless of affiliation.

The vaccination event was one of the latest in a series of community-based events that have taken place in Colony Ridge in partnership organized by agencies and organizations in the areas in and around Liberty County. A few days before the vaccination event, Liberty County Pct. 6 Constable Zack Harkness galvanized several local partners to donate and distribute hundreds of backpacks for students returning to Colony Ridge-area schools.

“We had 450 backpacks to give away, as well as school supplies and dental screenings from A2Z Dental & Braces,” said Harkness. “We also had representatives from our office as well as the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department. Additionally, Quadvest Utilities, All Pro Asphalt, and Play 4 Cade participated as sponsors, and our thanks go out to them.”

The week ended with teachers coming for the first time to the newly constructed Pine Burr Elementary School were treated to a special, free lunch catered by Fish Tales, a local restaurant popular with local families. Colony Ridge LLC donated more than 30 acres of land so that Pine Burr could be constructed.

“It was important that these teachers got a good meal from us before the school year started,” said Calvin Nelson, owner of Fish Tales. “I feel like our teachers don’t get paid what they deserve.”

Nelson provided 150 meals of fish, chicken, shrimp, hushpuppies, and fries at a significant discount to the school district for the event. He also pointed out that teachers enjoy discounts every Tuesday throughout the year at his restaurant.

Additionally, the week previous saw a special car seat safety event organized by Texas AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety Initiatives where numerous local families had their existing car seats properly installed or outright replaced by the organization and Constable Harkness’ office.

Colony Ridge is honored to have been chosen as a destination of choice for local community entities.

“The health, safety, and well-being of our residents is a key component to our vision,” said Trey Harris, co-founder and partner of Colony Ridge, LLC property development. “We plan to partner with additional agencies in the coming weeks, months, and years to provide even more opportunities for our communities to flourish in these trying times.” 

Colony Ridge is a master-planned community featuring the subdivisions of Santa Fe, Grand San Jacinto, Montebello, Camino Real, Rancho San Vicente, and Bella Vista. It was formed in a previously undeveloped area near US-59 and Grand Parkway (Hwy 99) to provide easily accessible and affordable housing to individuals looking to become homeowners.  The growth rate of the master-planned community has been notable, with close to 30,000 existing residents and approximately 200 families per month moving in. 

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