By DANI BLACKBURN
The Hospice Thrift Store was one of several casualties when Bowie Memorial Hospital closed in November.
However a local businessman saw an opportunity and swept in to save it.
The new Thrift Angels consignment store is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Bill Santo, who purchased the store in January 2016 after the hospital closed.
“My mom was visiting from Arizona, and the hospital went out of business, and they had to liquidate everything they owned,” explained Santo. “So we went around and looked at all the property. I talked to a number of people, and came to the conclusion purchasing, or saving, the thrift store, was right.”
His mom, Mari Angela, continues to be a part of the store, flying in from Arizona where she lives to help out. At 91 years old, she works about 40 hours a week at the store when she visits.
In Santo’s eyes, saving the thrift store provided three things for the community: The opportunity for people to buy quality clothing at extremely reduced prices, provided the 36 volunteers a place to give back to their community and to help other people in need.
The store was closed down for about six weeks before Santo purchased it and reopened it the day after signing the papers, but he knew changes needed to be made. He worked closely with his nephew the next 15 Saturdays to understand the exact needs of the community.
“We worked together so I could talk to the people,” recalls Santo. “I wanted to understand what they wanted us to do, how they wanted the store. I asked women what they wanted different, how they wanted things displayed and I asked the community and volunteers quite a bit. I asked them: What do we need to change?”
Read the full feature in the mid-week News.
Top photo: Angel Thrift Store recently received a new sign. (Photo by Dani Blackburn)
Alton “Fred” Allen
March 17, 1945 – May 15, 2022
RINGGOLD – Alton “Fred” Allen, 77, longtime resident of Ringgold, passed away on May 15, 2022 in Bowie.
The family received friends from 7 – 8 p.m. on May 17 at the White Family Funeral Home in Bowie. A graveside service will take place at 11 a.m. on May 18 at Cowboy’s Last Ride Cemetery in Bowie with Richard Allen officiating.
Fred was born March 17, 1945 in Decatur to Alton “Frank” and Zula Prestwood Allen. He was a lifelong worker in the oil field and in his free time enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending time with his grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Dick Allen and Gene Allen.
Fred is survived by his children, Lynn Allen, Ringgold and Zula Carol Dietrich and husband Steve, Petrolia; grandchildren, Blake Allen, Brady Allen, Barrett Allen, Jason Gray, Jennifer Gray, Terry Dietrich and Timothy Dietrich; great-grandchildren Cody and Kendra Harralson and Lincoln Gray; sister Zelta Baker, Bloomfield, NM and numerous nieces and nephews.
Arrangements entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home of Bowie.
Council facing lengthy agenda of new business
Bowie City Councilors face a lengthy agenda of new business on Oct. 25 spanning outside audit proposals, amendments to the personnel policy and six planning and zoning commission requests.
The panel will meet at 6 p.m. in council chambers.
A pair of audit proposals will be reviewed from Edgin, Parkman, Fleming and Fleming, and Mathis, West & Huffines Group.
The personnel policy amendments center on paid quarantine leave and officer mental health leave.
A resolution for repayment of opioid-related expenditures and payment to abate opioid-related harms will be reviewed, along with the 2021 tax roll.
The council also will discuss the Richwood Lake Estates Park at Amon Carter Lake. This topic is a proposition on the Nov. 2 ballot.
An executive session will have the council discuss economic development negotiations on a project. Janis Crawley, executive director of the Bowie Economic Development Corporation, also will give the council an update on the recent Economic Development Administration grant that will provide $1,460,000 to the BEDC for infrastructure work at the Bowie Business Park.
City Manager Bert Cunningham will make his monthly report discussing the asset management program, the audit, search for a new finance director, a program with Honeywell that evaluates facilities on where the city can save money and an update from the Association of Rural Communities.
Public comments and the consent agenda wrap up Monday night’s council agenda.
Department of Public Safety officers are investigating a pair of multi-fatality accidents in Montague County Thursday night. One occurred at US 82 and FM 1806 and a half hour later one occurred near Star Travel Center outside Bowie. No details were available Friday but watch for updates.
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