Palestine Magazine January 2019 - Page 47

Hugh and Ahnise Summers look for ways to bring positive youth activi- ties to the community. As members of the philanthropic Action Fund, the Palestine Rotary, the Harvey Women’s Club, and sponsors of the Boy Scouts, they have con- tributed time, money, and resources to numerous youth projects. The University of Texas at Tyler’s Mathis Hall, Rotary’s Safety Town and Iron Lung project, the Curious Museum, and the Railroad Heritage Museum – all were made possible by the Summers’ contributions and dedicated efforts. The Action Fund honored the Summers family last year with the Life- time Achievement Award, recognizing four decades of contributions to education, community service, and healthcare. Hugh Summers helps keep the projects running smoothly and kid- friendly. The Railroad Heritage Center, 808 W. Oak St., features a model train that winds through a landscape of miniature scenes from Palestine’s heyday. The little museum, operated by the nonprofit Texas Railroad Society, draws hundreds of visitors from the Polar Express to downtown Pales- tine. Instead of slowing down, the Summers are still investing in new proj- ects to enrich the community. “Hugh and I do what we do because we love Palestine,” Ahnise Sum- mers said. Jackson Hanks Champion for Palestine Few people have served the community in as many ways as has Attor- ney Jackson Hanks. Nearly 30 years ago, Hanks was elected to his first of three terms as Palestine’s mayor. Decades later, he continues to contribute, outside local politics, to the city and its people. In 2015, he was voted Palestine Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. Hanks also served as chairman and executive committee member for the Texas Area Action Fund Foundation, a philanthropic organization that promotes community service. The Texas Department of Transportation presented Hanks with the 127th Texas Road Hand Award for his leadership in improving the state’s transportation system. Hanks serves on the executive committee of Blankets and Bears, a children’s fund that provides blankets and bears to victims of trauma or abuse. “I am deeply honored to be selected as one of Palestine’s influential people,” Hanks told the Herald-Press. “It is humbling.” JANUARY 2019 47