“Fixer Upper” TV star Joanna Gaines impressed many of us in Waco and beyond with a moving testimonial of her faith on occasion of The Gathering at McLane Stadium a year and a half ago. But those who argue that acts and deeds speak louder than words when it comes to Christian principles must join in heaping unquestioned praise on both Gaines and her husband, Chip, for demonstrating that brand of selfless charity we’ve come to expect from Waco’s most prominent and successful citizens.
In committing the proceeds from a Sept. 10 auction of everything inside the historic Elite Cafe to what promises to be Mission Waco’s Jubilee Food Market, the Gaineses show keen insight not only into the terrible poverty that challenges our entire community but into those among us who dedicate themselves day in and day out to solutions. Mission Waco’s endeavor to transform the shell of an old Safeway store into a neighborhood grocery is one sought by the economically struggling but wonderfully resilient neighborhood surrounding North 15th Street and Colcord Avenue.
Yes, we’ve heard grousing from some about the Gaineses’ resolve to sell off fixtures and familiar features of the Elite Cafe. Fair enough. But we kindly remind those critics that precious few items from the original Elite remain — and if community affection for the Elite had been widespread and consistent, the establishment’s previous owners possibly wouldn’t have had to close it.
And while Ed Mazanec of Mazanec Construction doesn’t have a TV show, he and his crew are also stars in our book for serving as general contractor for Mission Waco’s project — and at no charge. Mazanec has selflessly used his contacts and familiarity with the construction business to find materials and subcontractors. All told, such folks display a side of our city too seldom acknowledged.