Since Vision XXI began, classes have always been assigned a class project. Those projects have ranged from raising money for various organizations such as the Harker Heights Food Care Center, the Homeless Awareness Response Program (H.A.R.P.), a Street Scape Beautification program, and wreaths for the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

Mary Shabunia, vice-president for business development and coordinator of Vision XXI 2017, told the Herald, “We took a different approach this year by deciding what the project was going to be for this year before the class ever began. We announced it to them on the first day of class.”

“It was a good choice because in years past it would take up a lot of time making the class project decision. This year, we could get started earlier on the project and save time,” said Cyd West, a Vision XXI graduate.

Dr. Jim Anderson, retired chancellor at Central Texas College, is the founder of Vision XXI. He established the curriculum, mission, goals and the strategy behind each class. He is still deeply involved and especially enjoys handing out the diplomas at the end of each class.

Shabunia said, “A group of former class members got together prior to the beginning of the new 2017 class and decided that it would be appropriate to honor Dr. Anderson as the creator of the class and thank him for his continued contributions to the chamber and the city.

“The project created that day in support of the city of Harker Heights was named Anderson Arbors, a beautifications project for the city using crepe myrtle trees that will line Farm-to-Market 2410 beginning at the chamber office extending toward Harker Heights High School,” Shabunia said.

The trees, which are being ordered from a local vendor and chamber member, are $300 and come with a brick that purchasers can use to add a brief inscription.

To date, 45 trees have been sold. The class goal was to plant 30 the first time and that’s been exceeded. “Our eventual hope is to plant 100 trees, and that would move some to the other side, making it more robust in appearance,” Shabunia said. The project will be ongoing.

Trees will continue to be sold by the chamber at or call 254-699-4999.

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