Coupland’s caboose project

The Coupland Civic Organization (CCO) owns the historic Coupland Depot and caboose. The CCO has restored the Depot and now is working on the caboose. The proceeds from the previous Choo Choo Fest fundraisers have gone toward restoring the caboose. The exterior siding has been repaired and painted and is weatherproof. The next project needs to be replacing the ties under the caboose and making the caboose level.

Moving the caboose, replacing the ties and leveling the caboose is a specialized procedure that requires special expertise. On Dec. 16, a group of expert volunteers who help people who are restoring train cars met with CCO President Susan Schmidt, Caboose Coordinator Barbara Piper and board member Ruby Wabbel.

Piper commented, “We first need to get the caboose level and then work on the interior, doors, and windows. We hope that work will commence in the spring.”

Thanks to CCO board member Jonathan Jones for installing the Christmas lighting on the Depot and Caboose.

In a Coupland tradition, Tony (the Tire Man) Morgan has once again created a Christmas tree by stacking and decorating large tractor tires.

Coupland School

Coupland students performed “Dearly Departed” in the UIL One-Act Play competition on Dec. 13 in Temple, and earned third place overall and won Outstanding Crew.

Jaxon Larson, Brenna Floyd and Payton Grant received All-Star Honorable Mention. Connor Huddleston and Alyssa Reed were named to the All-Star Cast. Amelia Placek was honored as Best Actress.

Teacher Kathy Hill reports, “We have the Overall Best Actress in the District for the third year in a row.”

The students will present their play for families and the community on Jan. 11, 6:30 p.m., in the Coupland gym.

Coupland students competed in the UIL Academic Competition on Dec. 5 and 6. Superintendent Tammy Brinkman reports, “Our elementary team placed third overall, and our Middle School team placed second overall.”

Hill said, “In our UIL Competitions in Holland and Granger, in Academics, we came in second in Middle School and overall! As always, many contests, especially Editorial Writing, were full sweeps—first, second and third!”

The Christmas programs were directed by the school’s new Fine Arts Director Annie Violette, a Coupland graduate.

Hill comments, “Because we have outgrown our gym, we had to stagger the performances.”

Before Christmas, the Student Council sponsored a food and toy drive, gathering non-perishable food items and new or gently used toys. They delivered the food to the Hutto Food Pantry and the toys to the Texas Baptist Children’s Home.

The gifted and talented classes sponsored a sock drive to help the homeless. There were donation boxes in each classroom and in the office, and the socks went to homeless shelters.

The students enjoyed “Breakfast with Santa” on Dec. 16 and holiday parties on Dec. 20, with early release and the beginning of the holiday break.

St. Peter’s Church of Coupland

The choir of St. Peter’s Church under the direction of Music Director Taylor Kroff presented their Christmas Cantata on Sunday, Dec. 17, to a packed sanctuary.

The Cantata, entitled “Tell the World Jesus Is Born,” was created by Sue C. Smith and Mason Brown, and included traditional Christmas carols with interludes of additional music.

Fundraising efforts by the choir enabled Kroff to assemble an ensemble of professional musicians who accompanied the choir on the piano, bass, violin, drums, cello, French horn and flute.

The violinist barely made it in time. He hit a deer on his way to Coupland, checked to make sure his violin was all right and continued on his way to St. Peter’s. This is what many considered true dedication.

Kroff holds a degree in music from Brigham Young University, and he is an accomplished choral director, composer and music teacher. St. Peter’s is sorry to announce that they will lose Kroff, who has accepted a position at a larger Austin church.

The Cantata was Kroff’s last program in Coupland; it was a wonderful and inspiring performance by the talented and dedicated choir.

St. Peter’s sponsored the Angel Tree Project again this year in conjunction with Coupland School and the Coupland Volunteer Fire Department.

The school helped identify students and their families that needed assistance, and the Fire Department helped deliver the gifts. Another Christmas project was the Cheer Bucket project. Sunday School children decorated and filled the Cheer Buckets, which were taken to homebound members.

The next seniors’ luncheon will be on Jan. 16 at 11:30 a.m. Co-Chair Lois Schmidt says, “Bingo and ‘42’ dominoes will be played. If you’re playing Bingo, please bring a prize $10 or under. Hope to see you in the New Year.”

New Sweden Church

The annual Santa Lucia celebration and the Country Christmas Sing-Along were held on Sunday, Dec. 10. Marilyn Samuelson reports, “Santa Lucia is one of the biggest celebrations in Sweden around Christmas. Lucia devoted her life to Christ and the poor. She would not renounce her faith and was martyred on Dec. 13.”

Santa Lucia continues to be celebrated in Sweden and by Swedish communities around the world.

This year, Santa Lucia was portrayed by Skylar Samuelson, daughter of Karin Johnson Samuelson and the late Joshua Samuelson. Her grandparents are Martin and Deborah Samuelson of Coupland and Hal and Jennie Johnson. She is the great-granddaughter of Marilyn Berglund Samuelson and the late David Samuelson.

In December, New Sweden held their Annual Meeting Part I, electing Church Council members and considering the 2018 budget, which will be adopted at the Part II meeting in January.

Yegua Creek Church

Charlene Hanson Jordan reports that Yegua Creek Church held a Candlelight Christmas Eve service. The church is located at 1200 CR 466 at Type, east of Couupland. All are welcome at their services.

Coupland Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD)

The Coupland Volunteer Fire Department’s first regular meeting of 2018 will be held on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. The department reports that in November, they had a total of 37 calls, including medical calls, auto accidents, structure fire, and outside fires. One that we never have seen before is “two dogs locked their owners out of the car.”

If you still have your Christmas tree up, the department reminds us to unplug the tree lights at night. If you have a real tree, make sure that you are giving it enough water. If it dries out, it is much more likely to catch fire.

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