After field trips to Barnes & Noble and Target, the inaugural class of Vision XXI 2013 gathered Aug. 1 at the St. Paul Chong Hasang Parish Hall for lunch, a graduation ceremony and presentation to the Heights Food Care Center.

Barnes & Noble Community Relations Manager Teresa Zoizack welcomed the class and told them how technology is changing the way people read.

Target Store Team Leader Katrino Garcia led class members on a tour and explained how leadership helps businesses succeed.

“(The class) has made me more aware of all the businesses in the area and how they operate,” Luke Miller said. “I’ve also met and been able to spend time with some great people.”

The trip to the state Capitol was the class highlight for Travis Knight.

“It was interesting to see how decisions made by the legislature make their way down to communities and what effect they have,” he said.

After a steak lunch provided by chefs from the YMCA, guest speaker and class member Eloise Lundgren presented awards to several class heroes.

Heights Chamber of Commerce President Bill Kozlik assisted Cyd West and former Central Texas College Chancellor Jim Anderson in leading the ceremony.

Maj. Adam Weece, Travis Knight, John Ellison, Steve Shine, Jennifer McCann, Eva Keagle, Matthew Bond, Laura Collier, Nancy Bourget, Annmarie McKenna, Shane Isdale, Kristin Sears, Luke Miller, Melissa Purl, Jeremy Brewer, Andrea Howard, Tom Creek, Cindy Sanders, Ryan Shahan, Donna Archer and Eloise Lundgren earned Vision XXI graduation certificates.

“Having wonderful community leaders in the same room was a great experience and the tours provided me information I would have not otherwise known,” Annmarie McKenna said.

The class project selected by the leadership group was to raise awareness and funds on behalf of the Harker Heights Food Care Center.

The Vision XXI class presented a giant check for $8,643.44 to Linda Dawson, the center’s executive director.

Laura Collier was named the new chairperson of the next Vision XXI class. During the past year, Collier represented First National Bank in the class and extensively researched the needs of the food care center.

“We’ve had an amazing class with strong leadership skills who’ve picked up valuable information about Harker Heights and will be able to give back to this community,” Membership Director Gina Pence said.

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