Blessing EFLM Lions Club were very honored to be mentioned

Blessing EFLM Lions Club was very honored to be mentioned in the bio for Mark Holland and the Matagorda Harbor Bait and Tackle for the 2021 Business of the year award.

Last night, the shop was honored by the Matagorda Area Chamber of Commerce as the 2021 Business of the Year. What an honor to receive this award. Below is the bio that was read before we were announced. This was a community effort to make these ideas a reality and we want to thank the community for your help and support of the life jacket program. We have great friends and support in the community in times of need.

Gary Janise
Kelly Livanec Holland
Taylor Holland
Ricky Wayne Cink
Josh Johnson
Irene Aguilar Arriaga

Matagorda Tackle Shop
Matagorda Harbor Bait and Tackle

With the unfortunate drownings and near drownings at Matagorda Beach that occurred in the summer of 2021, Matagorda Tackle Shop, with the help of good friend Gary Janise, we started a loaner life jacket program which is available to everyone who visits Matagorda.  If a person or family is either down for the week or weekend and needs a life jacket, they can stop by the tackle shop and grab as many as needed free of charge.  After their day on the water or at the beach, they simply drop back off the life jacket to us so they will be readily available for the next persons to use. We received an enormous response from the public and we started getting several citizens donating life jackets to us. Local organization which really helped us a lot was the Blessing EFLM Lions Club who donated several life jackets for both adults and children. After receiving all these life jackets, we needed a container to store them in . That’s when friend Bill Orton contacted us and donated a large aluminum box to store the life jackets in. Bill also contacted JAX coatings out of Sargent, Texas which donated their custom coating services and painted the box with a protective coating which keeps it from corroding. This box is kept unlocked and is assessable to anyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We received a very special call from Irene Arriaga who’s grandson lost his life while enjoying a day at Matagorda Beach during the summer of 2021.  Irene told us she is purchasing $1000 in brand new life jackets in honor of her grandson who lost his life. Her grandsons name was Nicholas Arriaga and he was way too young to leave this earth. It’s about saving lives, and with the help of numerous generous fellow citizens, we will safe more lives in the future.

Another challenge was the hurricane that our community endured. Several homes were damaged and power was knocked out for several days in Matagorda. It was hard driving down beach road and through the town of Matagorda and looking at the damaged homes and businesses. Several residents and property owners were outside cleaning up and trying to locate belongings misplaced by the storm. A good friend Rick Cink asked us what do we think would be something that the residents of Matagorda could use in this time of need. We advised them that a warm meal would be a great thing to provide them. With no power at their homes, we felt a meal would be welcome while they are cleaning up and trying to get their lives back together. That’s when Duran’s Cajun Cuisine stepped up to the plate and advised they would bring their custom cook trailer down to our store and cook a home cooked meal with a desert and drink free of charge to each and everyone who needed one in Matagorda. There was a great response to this and nearly 300 free plates of pulled pork sandwiches, chips, drinks and a desert was handed out free of charge. We felt that something as simple as a meal would help our citizens have one less thing to worry about. We sincerely thank Duran’s Cajun Cuisine for their generosity.  Also during the power outage, we were blessed to remain open because of a generator provided my our friend and Matagorda home owner Joey Lenderman and we were able to provide both gas and diesel to people who needed fuel.

It makes us very proud to have our business in Matagorda and to witness how a community can pull together and help one another in times of need.

Mark, Kelly and Taylor Holland