Rabke grateful for community’s support

Dear Editor,

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

As I awake this morning, my heart is overwhelmed with intense gratitude.

First would be my thankfulness to God for His plan regarding the chapel construction project, and for placing this desire foremost in the dreams of our Corporate members.

Secondly, I am thankful that the community has been made aware of the need for chapels in our prison system and the difference they will make for the incarcerated men and women who are struggling to break free from bad decision making.

Thirdly, I’m extremely thankful for the team of men and women that pulled together over the past weeks and months to plan, coordinate, and execute the measures necessary to host the Your Love Is Unbreakable Tour Concert in our hometown, which not only brought funds to our Corporation to proceed with the planning of our own prison chapel, but pulled the Christian community from all denominations and faiths across the area for an evening of amazing praise and worship.

After meeting and talking with Jason Crabb, I can say truthfully, I’ve seldom met a man with a bigger heart for his fellow man. He’s a humble, laid back, down home country boy with an intense love of the Lord and would give the shirt off his back to help someone in need, and his musical talent is awesome as well. May God bless the state of Kentucky for producing this young man.

The same can be said of the Selah trio – no remarkable egos as one might expect, and all very humble, caring, and fun-loving individuals with an aura of love for God and mankind. If you attended the concert and heard Amy Perry sing “Broken Ladders”, there is a message in their songwriting that touches the listener in mighty ways. Not wanting to expose my own vulnerable side during her song, the tears were making their way down my neck before I surrendered to wiping them away. Todd’s intensity and desire to please the crowd becomes evident through the muscles and veins in his neck and the redness in his face as he projects his voice in song. And Allan’s passionate musical talent at the keyboard is equally matched to his harmonies and beautiful tenor voice. All of them amazing musicians.

I thanked our corporate sponsors at a VIP meal just prior to the concert. I would like to add my sincere thanks this morning to the men and women of Grace Journey Retreats that came out in their white shirts to handle all the manpower needs of the tour, especially the load-in/load-out crew that busted their tails to assist with the movement of the stage equipment. We could not have done this without you, and I am so in awe of how God has brought our teams together to work in unison for this amazing community event. I look forward to working with your team at the next concert event.

Thanks also to the Hospitality ladies that so caringly coordinated the meals, and to the Methodist and Lutheran Men that got us kicked off with breakfast on Saturday morning, thank you all for the work. I overheard Jason say on several occasions, he will not soon forget the delicious breakfast tacos. Thanks also to Annette Rath and the folks at the Cooking Depot for lunch and to the Sts. Peter & Paul Knights of Columbus for the dinner. The barbecue was fantastic. Oh, and to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum for offering us the Wofford Room for our dinner – thank you again.

Thank you Gerard Gonzales and Mary Alice Perales at Standard Printing for all the documents, posters, signs, and programs, and also thanks to Tonya Dromgoole Solis and ShaNon at Exhibix for the banners, and to Watermark Graphics, Regina Koenig and Brittany Faas for the awesome polos – thank you guys and ladies. And thanks again to our financial institution, Trust Texas Bank – Shay Iacoponelli, Amanda Cowey, Cheryl Bramlette, Kimberley Bothe, and Jennifer Post for all your assistance with our needs through these construction project phases.

Thanks to James Crain of Crain & Sheppard for helping our corporation, to Weber Motor Company and the First Baptist Church, and Atzenhoffer Chevrolet for the vehicles and carts. Thanks to Richard Carbonara and Denise Hiebner at JHC Insurance for our liability policy. And thanks to the owners and employees of the Hotel Texas and Americas Best Value Inn & Suites – it was not easy finding rooms for our tour folks following the hurricane, but these establishments came through in a pinch. Thanks to MW Rentals for the generator, and to RKatz Tool & Supply, Randall Katzmark for the ice machine and ice. Thanks to the City of Cuero off-duty Police officers who provided security and to Gerald Clark and Cuero Regional Hospital for the stand-by ambulance.

Our endeavor was advertised and publicized by All Things Crossroads Magazine – Carolyn Mann Morehead, The Cuero Record-Robert Proctor, The Yorktown News-View, and The Victoria Advocate-Ismael Perez, also the South Texas Catholic, The Catholic Lighthouse Newspaper, and the community calendars at Air-1 Radio, KSBJ Radio and KHBC Radio. Thanks for getting the word out. And social media boosted ads were produced by ITickets.com and Southside Entertainment in conjunction with Streamline Events Agency, the Greg Oliver Agency and World Vision.

Oh, and before I forget, Jaime Stanfill, Cuero ISD Performing Arts Center Coordinator, what an amazing, amazing asset our schools district has with this young lady. Two words that come to mind in describing Ms. Stanfill: kind, and assertive. She handles the properties of the school district with an evident sense of maintaining them for years to come and does it with gentleness and thoughtfulness yet firmness to assure our facilities are not abused or misused. I have learned a lot from Jaime during my first venture into the concert hosting realm, and will be much better equipped next year when we do this again.

I could go on and on with praises for our donors, supporters, benefactors, suppliers, and vendors, and I apologize if I’ve failed to mention any, but finally I want to say thanks to the communities from around our area that came out and enjoyed the Jason Crabb and Selah concert. Your ticket purchases will assure us the funding necessary to move forward with our plans for the Stevenson Unit Chapel.

Thanks to the members of the Stevenson Unit Chapel Development Corporation who accepted the suggestion of hosting a fundraiser concert. And last, but not least – thanks to my brother, Les Richter, who, back in March of this year, made the suggestion of hosting a concert to bring awareness of the chapel project to the community. I feel that God has used us all to further His plans for the chapel, and I will forever be indebted to you for your tireless work in this endeavor.

Father Gabriel Espinoza put it well last week at Mass when he said, “We’re not building this chapel just for the offenders – we’re building this chapel for God, so He can continue His work in our prison. God likes nice things, and since He is the divine creator, we owe him our best efforts. And don’t forget, God’s only Son was crucified between two criminals.”

Please accept my sincere thanks and gratitude for one and all.

Stay tuned to local and social media for updates on our progress as we move forward with the chapel construction project.

Les Rabke

Stevenson Unit Chapel 

Development Corporation

DeWitt County Today

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