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Allen Image INSIDE THIS ISSUE

March 2015

Vol. 25, Issue 3

cover story

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Behind the scenes of Actv

Fifteen years ago the City of Allen hired Mark Kaufmann as an audio-visual technician and today he serves as ACTV’s executive producer. A case overflowing with awards, including eight Emmys, attests to the success and respect Allen City Television (ACTV) has earned under his direction.

feature

20 Robots

Manthano Homebotics placed 5th overall in the 2014 Texas BEST Regional Robotics Competition. Pretty good for a bunch of 13- to 17-year-old kids, who, six weeks before the first competition, were handed boxes of wood, wires, plastic and electronic doodads and told to make a game-playing robot.

special sections

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KIDS KORNER

Spring Break Fun

34

PET PAGE

Duke

35 CALENDAR

58 20

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE civic forum

library

cooking

10 Love in a time of transition

17 Celtic Festival

30 Cooking by Campfire

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Allen Railroad Days Exhibit

Dylan Thomas

12 Come to the Garden Show

18 Rethinking the first Americans

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Denim & Diamonds Gala

14

Sweet Harmony vocal workshop

19 Randy Wayne White

8th Annual Seton Soles

Pirouettes for Pets

Riders on an orphan train

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Kiwanis flag program

education

Boy Scout garage sale

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The circus is coming!

28 Collin College alum strikes gold

Defining family

Support through thick and thin

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17 publisher/editor Barbara Peavy

office administrator Carrie McCormick

advertising sales Liz DeBoe

cover photo Larry Fleming

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The Money Island

28 contributing writers Chelsey Aprill Nicole Bywater Vicki Deerman Deborah Dove Holly Harvey Tom Keener Dawn Bluemel Oldfield Peggy Helmick-Richardson Keith A. Taylor

Allen Image Š 2015 by Moonlight Graphics. All rights reserved. Allen Image is published by Moonlight Graphics and individually mailed free of charge to the residents of the Allen area. Subscriptions are available to residents outside the delivery area at a rate of $2.50 per issue—$30 per year.

Subscription and editorial correspondence should be sent to: Allen Image, P.O. Box 132, Allen, TX 75013, 972.727.4569, fax 972.396.0807 or visit our website at www.allenimage.com.


civic forum

LOVE

in a time of transition Volunteers offer comfort, companionship as pets await forever homes by Chelsey APRILL

Latte, who has finally found her forever home. Sheila Brauning is lying belly-down in a patch of grass, holding a camera in one hand and a tennis ball in the other. She’s trying to get the attention of a fawn-colored pup named Latte, but the pit bull mix is more interested in sniffing a stuffed toy. “Latte!” The dog glances up, then bounds toward her. Brauning is volunteering at the Allen Animal Shelter and her photos are featured on the shelter’s Facebook page. Shelter manager Allison Harper shares that enthusiasm for animals. A former pet photographer herself, Harper previously owned a dog-walking service, worked for animal control in the Austin area and spent five months rescuing lost pets following Hurricane Katrina. These days, Harper finds herself dedicating more hours to paperwork than pets. In addition to operating the 65-bed shelter, Harper manages Allen’s animal control operations, helping to enforce city ordinances on noise, neglect and waste. When I

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arrived she was juggling phone calls and feeding a printer while explaining the citation process to a pet owner. “The shelter never takes a day off,” Harper notes. “Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas…someone has to take care of the animals.” With a staff of six—including the animal control officers who spend most of their time in the field—it’s nearly impossible to give each pet the affection they crave. That’s where volunteers come in. The more interaction the animals get with humans, the more sociable they are; and the more sociable they are, the more adoptable they are. Each morning the dogs are shuffled outside so staff can clean cages. When the shelter is slammed, those few minutes may be their only opportunity to run, sniff and play freely in the shelter’s fenced yard. Additional playtime is dependent on volunteers. Right now, the shelter has just five of them. Volunteers aren’t saddled with demanding schedules or endless grunt work. One volunteer, when his schedule allows, simply takes dogs on a walk. Others pitch in from home by fostering expectant mothers until their litters are weaned. The animals (and the staff) are grateful for whatever they can get. “I always thought of shelters as a sad place,” admits Brauning. “I wondered if volunteering would break my heart. But every week I come in here and find out someone’s gone home. It’s not heart-wrenching. It’s heartwarming.” If you are interested in serving as an adult volunteer at the Allen Animal Shelter, you can pick up an application in person at 770 S. Allen Heights Drive or request one via email by writing to animalshelter@cityofallen.org. Until recently, one-year-old Latte was one of the shelter’s longest residents. The affectionate pit bull mix was adopted in January. v Chelsey Aprill is a marketing specialist for the City of Allen.


Allen Railroad Days exhibit The Allen Heritage Guild presents a free modular train exhibit March 21-22 and 28-29, at the Allen Train Depot, 100 E. Main. Over 100 models of freight, passenger and work trains drawn by steam and diesel engines, representing various railroads including Southern Pacific, Rock Island and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe will be featured. The trains meander through scenic vistas, bridges and towns—even the Allen train depot. A typical Houston and Texas Central station is represented in miniature, as it appeared in 1942 before it was destroyed. A traveling exhibit of the DallasForth Worth O Scale Model Railroad Club, this 38-foot modular display is part of their permanent exhibit located at South Side on Lamar in Dallas. This year the DFW Club will be joined by

modular layouts in N scale by Roy Durrell of the Allen Senior Center and 3-rail O gauge by the Lionel Modular Group. O scale trains are built to a ratio of 1:48—a 40-foot boxcar is 12 inches long. HO Scale is approximately half the size of O scale and N is about 30% smaller than HO. Local Allen resident Stan Schwartz is an active Dallas-Fort Worth O Scale Club member and is organizing the Allen exhibit. Stan has been collecting model trains for over 60 years. In 1952, he bought his first Model Railroader magazine and continues teaching, collecting and having fun with this pastime. Model train experts will be available during the exhibit for a free model train road show; free appraisals and identification will be given. Visit

your closet and attic and bring your trains for a free appraisal or to sell! Also shown will be the Lionel Modular Group’s 8 x 16 setup. Some of their trains are over 50 years old and still operational. Founded over a century ago by Joshua Lionel Cowen, Lionel is still a leader in O gauge model trains today. For the youngsters, there will be wooden railways that they can operate. Videos of steam and diesel operations during the 1950s and 60s will run throughout the show and Stan will present a talk on Allen’s colorful railroad history twice during the day. Exhibit hours: Saturdays, March 21 and 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays, March 22 and 29, noon to 3 p.m. For more information contact Stan Schwartz at ss124@sbcglobal.net. v Allen Image | March 2015

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As you learn more about gardening, every new experience means more to you and makes a long-lasting impression. – Rosemary Verey

COME Now in its fifth year, the Collin County Master Gardener Association’s Garden Show offers up a feast for the senses and a bountiful harvest of ideas, classes, vendors and activities for the whole family. There is no place better than The Garden Show, on March 21 & 22, at Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney, to learn more about North Texas gardening and Earth-Kind® gardening principles. The fun-filled, two-day event features vendors with garden wares that range from whimsical to practical, and inspiring educational programs. Collin County Master Gardeners Association (CCMGA), with decades of collective experience, will offer ideas for more successful gardening experiences. Demonstrations and presentations will run throughout the show on a variety of gardening topics. Subjects will include herbs, vegetable

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to the Garden Show

gardening, Earth-Kind® perennials, rainwater harvesting, container gardening and turfgrass management. Don’t miss a special Sunday session on Proper Tree Care and Pruning pre­ sented by Rick Zampino with Advanced Tree Care. Saturday will feature passionate bulb hunter and author Chris Wiesinger who will discuss The Bulb Hunter: A Story of Seeking out Botanical Treasures, and noted horticulturalist and publisher Neil Sperry will wrap up the show on Sunday with Designs on a Great Landscape. The International Award Winning Earth-Kind® Perennial Research and Demonstration Gardens at Myers Park will be featured along with the EarthKind® Vegetable, Crape Myrtle and Rose Research gardens. It’s a great place to learn about the best plants for our area, and there is plenty of

by Dawn Bluemel OLDFIELD

inspiration about how to incorporate them into our own gardens. The CCMGA is an educational service organization of volunteers who are trained in horticulture, landscaping, soil improvement, water conservation and many other topics. The CCMGA volunteer program is administered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service through the Horticulture Agent in Collin County. The Garden Show is an indoor event, so come rain or shine! Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., on Saturday, March 21, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m., on Sunday, March 22. Entry on both days is a donation of $2 per person. Parking is free! All proceeds will benefit the CASA of Collin County. Visit www.ccmgatx. org/TheGardenShow, or call 972.548.4232 for more information. v Dawn Bluemel Oldfield is a freelance writer.


Denim & Diamonds Gala By Vicki DEERMAN

The Foundation for Lovejoy Schools is proud to honor long-time Lovejoy volunteer Page Schreck as this year’s honorary chair of the annual Denim & Diamonds Gala & Auction. She and her husband, John, have lived in Lucas for over 20 years. Page comes from a legacy of educators. Her mother and grandmother were both teachers and now her oldest daughter, Kristen, a graduate of the University of Texas, teaches at McKinney High School. Kristen started school at Lovejoy Elementary when it was the only school in the district and attended secondary schools in Allen. Kristen

and her husband, Rodrigo, have a twoyear-old daughter. Page’s middle daughter, Emily, was a part of the first graduating class at Hart Elementary and also graduated from Allen High School. She went on to graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Melissa, the youngest, was in the second graduating class at Lovejoy High School and is a senior at Baylor University. Having three active daughters who attended both Lovejoy and Allen schools, Page has had many opportunities to be involved in multiple organizations. Page was the president of the

John and Page Schreck with their granddaughter

Grand Slam Booster Club and chaired the City of Lucas Parks Board. She is a life member of the PTA and received the PTA Extended Service award. Page served seven years on the Foundation for Lovejoy Schools’ Board of Directors and continues to serve as a member of the Foundation Advisory Council. She has been, and still is, the “go-to” person when a task needs to be done. “Along with the growth in the district, we have witnessed the establishment and success of the Foundation for Lovejoy Schools,” states Page. “In the early years, grants awarded were in the hundreds of dollars; now the grants are in the tens of thousands of dollars. It is incredible to think, that in 2014, Lovejoy families raised almost $150,000 for the annual appeal. “One of the things that sets the Lovejoy District apart is the support parents give to the schools. I would encourage you to find an area in the schools that you can support with your time. There are many volunteer opportunities in the district ranging from mentoring, making copies or serving as room mothers. Support from parents at the school and at home will improve the education each student receives.” The Foundation for Lovejoy Schools Denim and Diamonds Gala and Auction will be held Saturday, April 11, at Southfork Ranch. The community is invited to attend. Please visit the website, www. FoundationforLovejoySchools.org, for v ticket information. Vicki Deerman is the executive director of the Foundation for Lovejoy Schools. Allen Image | March 2015

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Snippets Sweet Harmony vocal workshop series

8th Annual Seton Soles

It’s a sweet experience to sing with a family of sisters like Note-Ably North Texas Chorus! You’ll look forward to Thursday evenings filled with singing, fun and laughter!

In our workshop series, our “Sweet Harmony Singers” will understand the physicality of singing, the essential skills for tuning and blending and how to reach an audience by communicating the story of a song through expression, both visually and vocally. Sweet Harmony Singers are invited to perform with NoteAbly at the City of Allen Parks and Recreation “Patriotic Pops in the Park” on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 7 p.m., at the Joe Farmer Hillside Amphitheater with the Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra! You will be able to share your voice by singing the workshop songs and using the skills honed during the workshop. Workshop starts on Thursday, April 16, and goes through May 25, at Grace Free Church, 2005 Estates Parkway in Allen, 7-9 p.m. Registration before April 16 is $35; after April 16, it’s $45 at the door or online @ www.nntchorus. org, under Special Event tab. Registration includes workshop materials and a Sweet Harmony t-shirt to wear for the performance! This event is funded in part by a grant from the Allen Arts Alliance. v

Seton Soles is a charitable fundraising 5K/1 Mile Run/ Walk on April 18, that will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Southern Collin County through the Habitat Ministry at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Plano. Seton Soles is the primary funding source for the Habitat ministry. Your participation in Seton Soles will help us build homes, community and hope! For more information or to register to run or walk, visit www.setonsoles.com or contact Bruce Hafemeister, 214.542.3522 or bhafemeister@ gmail.com. In the last two years, 151 projects for local low-income families were completed, including 14 new houses constructed and 137 home repair/rehabilitation projects. The need in our community continues to grow and it is only with the support of local families, individuals, schools, faith communities, corporations and foundations that we can continue to address this need. Community partners can help us provide a hand-up, not a handout to local lowincome families in several ways: • New house construction sponsorship • Home repair project sponsorship • Event sponsorship • Donations of items and/or services “Let’s Build Homes, Community and Hope!”
For information, contact Sid Buniff, sbuniff@habitat-scc.org or 972.398.0634x104. v

Pirouettes for Pets The Allen Civic Ballet will present “Pirouettes for Pets,” a dance performance, on Sunday, March 22, at 3 p.m., in the Allen Civic Auditorium at the Allen Public Library on 300 N. Allen Drive. The ballet hopes to raise awareness about animal adoption and responsible pet ownership. The concert will feature classical and contemporary selections and will culminate in “Stupid Ballerina Tricks,” with a winner being selected by the audience. Admission is free, but donations to the Allen Animal Shelter are welcome. Visit allencivicballet.org for more information. v

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Snippets Kiwanis flag program Here comes a national holiday weekend and suddenly your street is lined with flags. Or maybe a street in the next neighborhood over. The Kiwanis Club of Allen is responsible for thee flags you see out by the curb on major national holidays. The club volunteers store them at their homes and put them out for the seven major flag holidays throughout the year—Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriot’s Day and Veterans Day. This is a subscription service provided by the Kiwanis Club of Allen for our community and the proceeds benefit various projects in Allen— dictionaries for grade school kids, the Angel League baseball program, Allen Community Outreach, scholarships to deserving college-bound kids and many others. Want a flag? Go online to www.allenkiwanis.org and click on the flag program. Leave your name and contact information and you will get a call or email (your preference). This initial fee of $60 includes the cost of the flag, the pole, the sleeve in the ground for placement and the next seven holidays. The Kiwanis Club of Allen is a local chapter of Kiwanis International, dedicated to “Changing the World One Child & One Community at a Time.” Weekly Kiwanis meetings are held at noon at the Café del Rio, Allen. Come join us for lunch… visitors are welcome. Or visit www.allenkiwanis.org. v

Boy Scout garge sale Boy Scout Troop 1299 will have their annual garage sale on April 11, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Suncreek United Methodist Church east parking lot located at 1517 West McDermott Drive in Allen. We are accepting gentlyused donations that will be sold to raise funds to support our troop activities and purchase equipment. Gently used items may include furniture, household décor, kitchenware, toys, lawn equipment, patio/outdoor furniture, sports equipment and clothing. Donors in the Allen/Frisco/McKinney/Plano area can email for a convenient home pickup. Tax receipts will be provided upon request. To make donations please contact Natalye Bollinger at natalyeb3@gmail.com. v

The circus is coming! Carson & Barnes Circus will be at The Village at Fairview on March 20, 21 and 22. Funds raised will benefit The Foundation For Allen Schools and support educational grants for Allen ISD, tuition reimbursement for Allen educators working on additional certifications and advanced degrees, and college scholarships for Allen High School graduates. The Foundation For Allen Schools, a nonprofit organization, supports New Teacher Orientation, teacher training and recognition and the Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year Awards. Tickets are available at Market Street, Rodenbaughs and Whole Foods Market, $12 (adults) / $10 (children 12 or under.) For more information, visit www.AISDfoundation. org or call the Foundation office at 972.727.0362. v

A l l e n I m a g e | Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 4

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library

Celtic Festival

Flashpoint Savor a mystical evening, con­juring images of emerald green shamrocks and spike-flowered thistles while enjoying energetic dancing and Celtic music at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 20, at the library. Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free.

by Tom KEENER

Flashpoint is led by two brothers—David and Daniel Mehalko. Having performed at the North Texas Irish Festival, the Austin Celtic Festival and numerous other venues, Flashpoint offers an array of Irish folk music. David and Daniel will be joined by some of the best accompanists, vocalists and other musicians within the Irish music scene. With a variety of instru­ mentation—including fiddle, banjo, mandolin and flute, and a tasteful mix of various styles, an exciting performance is guaranteed. Performing in English and Scottish Gaelic, K3 Sisters will demonstrate authentic ancient Scottish Highland dances such as the Sword Dance, Highland Fling, Seanntruibhs and Ghilliecallum. A popular attraction at the Texas Scottish Festival, Robert Burns’ events, Trinity Hall, North Texas Irish Festival, St. Andrew Day

events and other venues, K3 Sisters offer an exciting show. K3 Sisters is comprised of Bruce Ray Kassab, Jamie Shipman-Kassab, Nate Abraham, Kalem Bradley, Kelsey Kristen and Kaylen Kassab. Food For Thought Café will serve delicious Irish stew, chocolate stout cake and roast beef and cheddar with Irish herbs. Free tickets issued at 7 p.m. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

K3 Sisters

Dylan Thomas Although Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died in 1953 at age 39, his influence on poetry and literature is eternal. Five films were based upon Thomas’ works, including Under Milk Wood (1972), starring Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O’Toole. But it was Robert Zimmerman, later known as Bob Dylan, who made Dylan Thomas familiar to younger generations. In Thomas’ famous words, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” For this poet, conflict often addressed social issues. As a part of Celebrating Celtic month, Greg Brownderville will discuss Celtic poet Dylan Thomas at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12, at the library. Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free. The author of Deep Down in the Delta (Butler Center Books), Brownderville based this collection of folkloristic poems on fieldwork he conducted around his home community of Pumpkin Bend, Arkansas. His third book, a collection of poems entitled A Horse with

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Holes in It, will be released soon. An assistant professor of English at SMU teaching creative writing—primarily poetry—Brownderville notes, “My sensory delight in language is at the heart of my work, both as a poet and as a teacher of poetry writing.” v

My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out.” – Dylan Thomas Dylan Thomas


The Allen Library presents… by Tom KEENER

Rethinking the first Americans Who were the First Americans? In the 1920s and 1930s, discoveries made near Clovis, New Mexico, as well as at other ancient North American sites, suggested a prehistoric Paleo-Indian culture of people that date roughly 13,200 to 12,900 calendar years ago. Known for their distinctive tools, they were considered to be the ancestors of most of the indigenous cultures of the Americas. Thanks to molecular genetics, improved instrumentation and new archeological findings, it is now believed that a pre-Clovis culture existed. Some of the new evidence has been found in Texas. Wilson W. “Dub” Crook will discuss “Peopling of the Americas: Is Clovis First Finally Dead?” at the library on Thursday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Crook will review the characteristics of the Clovis people and then discuss the recent discoveries of sites older than Clovis

all across North America and their implications on the long-standing issue of the first Americans.

Crook observes, “Current research across North America is beginning to conclusively demonstrate that the first

Americans arrived here thousands of years before the Clovis culture; and research here in Texas is helping to lead the way to a new understanding of the peopling of the Americas.” Starting his adventures as a child at the site of the future Lake Lavon in the 1950s along with his father, Wilson W. Crook, Jr., a distinguished archae­ ologist, they unearthed Indian artifacts. As a result of his father’s lifelong interest in archeology and paleoanthropology, Dub grew up going to, and working on, archeological sites all around the world. While his archeological research has focused primarily on the upper Trinity River watershed in Collin and Rockwall counties, he has also worked on sites in West Texas, New Mexico, California and Virginia. Internationally, he has also worked in South Africa, South America and Kazakhstan. Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free. v

The Money Island What happens when a young adult who grew up in comfortable circumstances is financially cut off from the family fortune? One young man comes up with a billion dollar idea, but soon discovers that others are jealous of his success. Meet Troy, the author of The Money Island, at 3 p.m., Saturday, March 21, at the library. The Money Island is replete with visual imagery of the Texas landscape, including oil rigs and the coast. Comprised of psychological and financial intrigue, the real story lies in the dysfunctional people that encompass the subplots that lace through the novel. A former sports agent who grew up in a small town in Texas, Troy traveled four continents and over 40 countries representing Olympic athletes and world champions. Having also once worked as a sports reporter and magazine columnist, Troy loves to convey a story, fiction or non-fiction. An Allen resident, Troy is married to Debbie Arzola, a former national class distance runner. The couple have a son, Joseph, and two dogs. Troy is also a songwriter, history buff and amateur genealogist. Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free. v

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Randy Wayne White Defining Family Bestselling author Randy Wayne White will present his latest book, Cuba Straits, at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, at the library. Sponsored by Bach to Books, the program is free.

Films are free and begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the library’s Civic Auditorium.

March 3—Anne of Green Gables (1934), starring Ann Shirley and Tom Brown. A romantic teenage girl is adopted by a pair of elderly siblings in turn-of-the-century Russia. Library Cultural Arts Manager Tom Keener will introduce this film. March 10—Up (2009), voices of Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai and John Ratzenberger. To avoid being taken away to a nursing home, an old widower tries to fly his home to Paradise Falls, South America, along with a stowaway Boy Scout.

March 17—Philomena (2013), starring Steve Coogan and Oscar winner Judi Dench. A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago. Based upon a true story. Licensed Professional Counselor Cathy Baumbach will introduce this film.

An author ’s reception that includes a signed copy of the book, is $30 per person and will be hosted in the library’s meeting room at 7 p.m. Advanced registration for the reception is required. Attendees may pay at the door by check. Best known for his Doc Ford, Carl Ramm and Randy Striker series, Wayne also writes nonfiction, con­ tributes to magazines and produced a television documentary, Gift of the Game. He travels to Cuba with former baseball pitchers Bill “Spaceman” Lee (Boston Red Sox) and Jon Warden (Detroit Tigers) to revive the children’s baseball league founded by American writer Ernest Hemingway in the days before Fidel Castro came to power. In Cuba Straits, White combines his love of baseball and the environ­ ment with political intrigue and even mixes in sadistic Santerian priests to offer a nail-biting thriller. White’s novels go beyond simple entertain­ ment value and he observes, “A society whose moral ideas inhibit their own defense will always suffer defeat by the very predators they deem immoral.” v

March 24—Fiddler on the Roof (1971), starring Topol, Norma Crane and Leonard Frey. In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-semitic sentiment threatens his village. Collin College Film Professor Dr. Carolyn Perry will introduce this film.

March 31—American Experience: The Orphan Trains (1995). In the 1850s, thousands of homeless children roamed New York City streets in search of food and shelter. The children were sent on trains to rural areas, where families would take them in. Their stories live on in this moving documentary introduced by Steve Seale. v

Riders on an Orphan Train

View a multi-media program at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 26, at the library, that tells the story of the 250,000 orphans and unwanted children who were placed on trains in New York between 1854 and 1929 and sent all over the U.S. to be given away, many in Texas. Sponsored by ALLen Reads, this is a free event. Novelist and humanities scholar Alison Moore and singer/songwriter Paul Lancaster have combined audiovisual elements, musical ballads,

historical fiction, archival photographs and interviews with two of the surviving orphan train riders into a collaborative performance. After the presentation, there is an informal discussion about the origin and demise of this event and the part it played in the formation of the American dream. Then the presenters will take questions from the audience and will invite relatives and acquaintances of orphan train riders to share their stories. v

The library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Call 214.509.4911 for information. Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library. Allen Image | March 2015

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feature

by Simon VALENTIN

It looks like a Tonka toy with an attitude, a tri-wheeled, remote-controlled little beasty with a sinister looking claw that clamps onto things a foot away. The brains behind this beast christened it “Scorpion,” and they watched intently as two team members, a driver and spotter, sent it careening over a pathway littered with speed bumps. Taking part in an environmentally-themed competition, Scorpion clutches three windmill blades in its claw as oversized wheels maneuver rough terrain without tipping over. The mission is to insert the blades into a prebuilt tower, roll back over the speed bumps, avoid crushing PVC “prairie chickens” scattered across the arena, then transport more things for additional points. Manthano Homebotics, the team that created Scorpion, does so well it placed fifth overall in the 2014 Texas BEST Regional Robotics Competition. Pretty good for a bunch of thirteen to seventeen-year-old kids, who, six weeks before the first competition, were

Foreground: Andrew Moore, Mary Kim

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handed boxes of wood, wires, plastic and electronic doodads and told to make a game-playing robot. Though the band of brainiacs didn’t create artificial intelligence like Data from Star Trek (dang it!), they built a bot that beat out 55 other schools from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. They spent dozens of hours working on Scorpion during lunchtime at school... No, wait. They’d meet in the gym after class… No, wait. They built it in a garage…because they’re home-schooled. That’s right. This smart, well-spoken, good-looking bunch of home-schoolers beat some of the finest bricks-andmortar-trained minds in three states. Now that is impressive. The BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) competition is sponsored by the University of Texas and is geared to fire kids up and put them on a path that may lead them to become some of our nation’s next great inventors. But it’s not easy. “Right now, we have a robot,” says team leader seventeen-year-old Alex Edwards. “At the beginning of the competition we were given two boxes, one was consumables, the other we return at the end of the competition.” Lead programmer Josh Siegel remembers getting those boxes of bits and pieces. “It was overwhelming at first,” the


fifteen-year-old says. “They give you raw materials, a goal, and you build a robot.” Notice, he didn’t say instructions were included. Barry Teague, Director of Electrical Engineering at DRS Technologies and a mentor to the kids, was very impressed with what the team developed. “I think the most amazing part of their design is the claw,” he says. “On day one they latched onto this idea of a double claw.” Scorpion’s double claw provides a stronger grip and allows the robot to carry three blades to the windmill at once. “I wouldn’t have gone there, kind of makes me feel like I’m not a good engineer,” Barry says with a laugh. This wasn’t the team’s first robot rodeo (robo-deo?), so they had an inkling of what would work well. “People at the competition last year thought we were a special robotics school,” says thirteen-year-old Danielle Edwards. But it’s not just about creating a robot. The students must develop a marketing plan to sell the creation, they write a report focusing on the competition’s subject. This year, it was environmentally sound energy sources. They also construct a booth to represent their team at the competition. Manthano’s has two functioning windmills, one lights a model house, the other pumps water. Once at the event, the challenges come from more than the course. It’s not a quiet little affair with tech geeks standing around adjusting slide rulers and making calculations. “Regionals are really, really, really loud,” says coach Russ Edwards. “Some teams bring a spirit band, there’s cheering and shouting. We trained last year playing loud music and it wasn’t enough; we didn’t do as well as usual.” The spotter and driver, even while standing shoulderto-shoulder screaming, still couldn’t communicate. Headsets and microphones aren’t allowed, so they found a rather drastic solution. “This year we practiced communicating without speaking,” Russ says. “BEST has all the excitement of an athletic event but instead of stretching the body, it’s stretching the mind,” says Dr. Kenneth Berry, Assistant Director of the Science and Education Center at University of Texas at Dallas. Creating a claw-wielding creature, building windmills, communicating like Ninjas, it all seems like an awful lot for a bunch of kids to handle. So, how hands-on are the adults? “They’re in charge of safety to be sure we don’t kill ourselves with power tools,” Alex says. “My dad leads meetings, makes sure logistics are taken care of—like who’s bringing snacks­—the important stuff,” he jokes. The mentors purposely step back, let students fail and figure out solutions, setting the stage for everyone to learn. Seventeen-year-old Mary Kim joined the team on a whim. She thought she’d lend a hand with marketing after seeing her brother Matthew work with them last year. Things evolved after six weeks.

Ian Delzell “I didn’t expect to get so involved with the math and science that goes into this,” she marvels. “I learned to help my team, to help repair the robot. It’s cool to trouble shoot and say ‘It’s a servo.’ I had no idea what a servo was! I’m having the time of my life learning.” This is exactly what the competition is geared to do according to UTD’s Dr. Berry—it’s supposed to change kids lives. “People who go pro in sports have limited careers,” he says. “This is like sports for the mind, but this career can last a lifetime.” Sports for the mind. Hmm. Judging by how well these kids are doing, we’re dealing with some world-class athletes. We probably should have gotten some autographs before we left. Wonder if they’ll be making BEST bobble-heads for 2015. Maybe t-shirts, some wind-up Scorpion toys… Get to it, brainiacs. Time’s a wastin’. If you’re interested in next year’s BEST competition, go to www.bestinc.org. Simon Valentin is a freelance writer from Allen. Allen Image | March 2015

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kids korner

Spring Break Fun By Deborah DOVE It’s Spring Break and the kids are home for nine days. What’s a parent to do? Get out and about and enjoy a wealth of fun in your own backyard.

Solve a Mystery at the Perot Museum

A trip to the Perot Museum is a kid-pleaser any time, but now through May 10, the Perot Museum is hosting a special international exhibit of Sherlock Holmes. Visitors will step inside Arthur Conan Doyle’s Victorian London and work side-by-side with his legendary detective as he tackles new cases. Along the way, guests will see a dazzling array of original manuscripts, publications, period artifacts, film and television props and costumes, and learn to use investigative tools and techniques to interactively solve crimes. Visit www.perotmuseum.org for more information Cost: General admission ticket ($11/kids and $17/adults) required plus special exhibit ticket ($10/kids and $12/adults)

Zip Line at Trinity Forest Adventure Park

If you’re looking for adventure, this combination canopy tour, challenge course and zip line adventure located on seven wooded acres in Dallas fits the bill. Kind of like an obstacle course in the air, participants navigate from platform to platform installed in the trees via bridges, ropes, ladders and zip lines. There are six separate selfguided courses (identified by color based on difficulty, similar to ski runs) at different elevations and with four levels of difficulty, with the beginner course suitable for kids as young as six. Safety is paramount and participants are always attached to life lines with a dual-carbiner system. Visit www.trinitytreetops.com for more information. Cost: $44.95/adults, $39.95/youth 10-15 years; and $34.95/ages 6-9; or buy a four-pack for $130. Tickets are good for three hours in the park.

Dallas Blooms and the Children’s Discovery Garden at the Dallas Arboretum

The flowers are in full bloom at the Dallas Arboretum with life-size topiaries of iconic Texas symbols including two longhorns, two horses and a Texas star. The Children’s Discovery Garden reopens on February 28 with 150 interactive exhibits that teach kids about pollination, habitats, photosynthesis, electricity and more. Special daily activities take place throughout the garden, as well as in the 9,100-square-foot Exploration Center that houses the iconic OmniGlobe, plant labs, CSI-inspired mysteries and 3-D MiniTheater. Visit www.dallasarboretum.org for more information. Cost: General admission is $15 for adults and $10, plus an additional $10 charge for the children’s garden for kids 3-12. Parking is $15.

Klyde Warren Park

If you haven’t yet visited this park that sits atop Woodall Rodgers with the Dallas skyline behind it, spring is the perfect time to go. Play a game of chess, checkers, backgammon, ping pong or croquet, or explore the children’s park with its playground and whimsical caterpillar fountain. Bring a picnic or buy lunch from one of the food trucks that are open daily from 11-3. Cost: Free

Great Wolf Lodge

It may still be too cold to swim outdoors, but the water’s perfect at the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge with plenty of rides and

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slides for kids of all ages. Outside the waterpark, kids can grab a wand and battle a dragon in Magi-Quest, get an ice cream themed manicure and gather in the lobby for a fireside bedtime story before falling asleep in an in-suite tent, cave or log cabin. Cost: Varies (visit www.greatwolf.com for details)

Fossil Rim

Take a walk, er…a drive on the wild side at this nine-and-a-half mile drive-through scenic wildlife park in Glen Rose. Purchase a bag of food at the entrance ($8) and many of the animals will come up to your car and eat out of your hands. Animals you might see include ostrich, deer, zebra, antelope and giraffes. Half-way through the drive, you can stop at the scenic overlook where there are restrooms, a restaurant and a children’s animal center with animals to meet and interact with, including emus, tortoises, goats, cockatoos and pot-bellied pigs. Visit www.fossilrim.org for more information. Cost: $20.95/adults and $14.95/kids ages 2-11 during the week. Prices are about $4 more on the weekend.

Legoland Discovery Center

This interactive attraction centered on all things Lego is a kid pleaser already with a factory “tour,” 4D mini movie, three kidsized rides, a play structure, a miniature version of Dallas made out of Legos and lots of opportunities to build everything from race cars to towers that can withstand the earthquake table. To add to the fun, Lego Ninjago Training Camp opens March 6, where kids can test their reactions in Ninja missions, build Ninjago out of Lego bricks, then see how fast they can make it through the laser maze. Visit www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com for tickets and information. Cost: Tickets start at $15.75 (buy in advance online for the best prices)

Planetarium at UT Arlington

Get a unique view of the night sky at this immersive space theater with a 60-foot dome screen. Shows are an hour long and consist of 30 minutes of stargazing at tonight’s sky presented by a space scientist, followed by a 30-minute pre-recorded program. Educational programs offered explore black holes, the inner workings of Earth’s climate and a child’s magical journey through the solar system. A bit less educational, but a lot of fun, is SpacePark 360—a set of full dome movies designed to recreate the thrills of amusement park thrill rides, and a Pink Floyd show. Visit www.uta. edu/planetarium for shows and schedules. Cost: $6 for adults and $4 for kids 3-18

Explore the Outdoors at the Heard Natural Science Museum

The Heard is offering a variety of special events and mini camps just for spring break. Families can try canoeing or watch a presentation on owls followed by a night hike, or you can sign the kids up for mini camps to meet the nature center’s animal ambassadors, go on a fossil hunt, or explore how caterpillars turn into butterflies. The sanctuary will be open from 9-5 during spring break and will offer $2 off general child admissions March 9-13. Visit www. heardmuseum.org for more information. Cost: $10/adults and $7/kids 3-12 (mini camps are $20/person)


education

Support through thick and thin by Keith A. TAYLOR

Latricia Smith What makes a strong and successful school district? You might say dedicated teachers, committed staff, modern infrastructure, strong leadership, motivated students or outstanding academics. However, a quiet, but essential, component of educational excellence can be for­ gotten—parents and particularly the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

“The partnership between the schools and the PTA is invaluable,” said Louise Master, Allen ISD Board of Trustees President. “Our teachers can’t do everything, so the PTA partners with the schools to provide assistance where it’s needed.” That support ranges from helping with field trips to providing classroom equipment to raising money for playground improvements. Master should know; before joining the school board, she worked as a PTA volunteer for over 15 years and served as a sub­ stitute teacher and campus technician. Master and three other Allen ISD PTA veterans—Kim Miller, Lisa Morgan and Latricia Smith—recently discussed the role of the organization and the importance of volunteer support in education. “In my experience, PTA is good at letting staff know how appreciative we are of them and finding where we can support them when they need help,” said Miller, a PTA member for more than 20 years. “Sometimes teachers are not appreciated as much as they should be.” All four agreed that support varies from classroom to classroom and campus to campus—for good reason. “No two campuses are alike,” commented Smith, the rookie of the group with nine years in PTA,

including two years as president of the Council of PTAs, a support organi­ zation for all district PTAs. “They may face similar issues, but they each have their own ways to find solutions. One of the important roles of the Council of PTAs is to find the best practices at individual campuses and relay the solutions to other schools facing comparable problems.” PTA also serves as a valuable conduit of news from the schools back to the parents. “We often get approached by parents for information,” said Morgan, the president of the high school Parent Teacher Student Association. “For example, when kids are in elementary, they take home a weekly folder with school information. When they get to middle school that goes away, but the parents still want to know what’s going on. At our middle school, the PTA worked with the principal and staff to develop daily and weekly electronic communications to fill that void. When you can fix a problem, it’s a great thing.” PTA also can provide unexpected benefits that can benefit parents on a personal level, according to Morgan and Miller. “It’s a great networking tool,” Miller said. “I have met some fabulous women and men just by being part of PTA. It’s afforded me the chance to get

A quiet, but essential, component of educational excellence can be forgotten—parents and particularly the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) 24

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Louise Master out and meet the people who make up the community of Allen.” PTA helps make a large community seem much smaller. “Allen High School is a very large community and that can be intimidating (to parents and students),” Morgan stated. “However, since I have been able to meet so many people through PTA, I have resources when I have questions or want to find out about a class or activity. Suddenly the high school doesn’t seem overwhelming anymore.” All four of these PTA veterans have very similar stories about how they became actively involved in the organization. “I was an active room mom at Anderson Elementary,” Master said, “So, one day, I was approached about being the spelling, math and geography bee chair for PTA. I think someone else had quit and I accepted. Then, when I started my second year, I was asked to be president.” The experience was the same for Morgan, Smith and Miller; they all were asked to be president of their campus PTA during their second year of membership. Smith thinks she knows why. “I Allen Image | March 2015

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Lisa Morgan and Kim Miller couldn’t understand why I had been asked,” she commented. “I was sur­ rounded by these smart and strong women who had been in PTA longer. So I asked them why no one else wanted to be president and they all said the same thing. They didn’t like public speaking.” As a matter of fact, Morgan sees public speaking prowess as one of the benefits of her PTA membership. “When I started out, I was terrible about speaking in public. Now I do it all the time. I just spoke to a group of

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eighth-grade parents and students about attending Lowery (Freshmen Center) in the fall. I can’t imagine doing that 20 years ago.” From a district perspective, the association plays an important role in the success of Allen schools. “The active involvement of parents in their children’s education is the most important element to academic success,” Master said. “PTA plays an essential role in bridging the gap between parents and teachers.” The entire board is supportive of

the PTA. “We have a great relationship with the board and Superintendent Lance Hindt,” Miller noted. “They are very open and respon­ s ive to our concerns and requests. They keep us informed about what is going on in the district and we can help getting that information out to the community. ” The future of the district is bright, if challenging. “One of the biggest challenges is continued growth in the district,” Smith said. “Redrawing campus boundaries always is stressful for parents and students. We need to keep the lines of communication open.” Morgan, who also maintains the high school PTSA Facebook page, agreed saying, “We can always do a better job at explaining important issues and providing timely information.” Regardless of challenges, the group agreed that participating in PTA is well worth the effort. The word “rewarding” was mentioned often. “In PTA, you get to meet other parents,” Miller shared. “You know that you’re helping teachers. You know you are helping children. It is a very rewarding experience.” Morgan agreed, “That’s what I would say, too. It is very rewarding.” v Keith Taylor is a public relations specialist for Allen ISD.


MARKET PLACE

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Collin College alum strikes gold Every minute, about 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube and more than six billion hours of video are watched each month. Songwriter/ musician and Collin College alumnus Cody Tarpley knows how difficult it can be to break into the big leagues. With singer and co-writer Joseph Somers-Morales, also known as SoMo, Tarpley penned the hit single, “Ride,” which premiered on YouTube and has been certified gold and platinum and reached number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 20 on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. “The whole process is so gratifying,” Tarpley said. “It feels like it happened so quickly, but it took two years for the song to really take off. Sometimes the song was really viral in certain parts of the world.” Tarpley had an interest in music from a young age. While in high school, he discovered recording music as a solid career option. “I wanted to pursue a degree program designed for audio engineering and music production,” he said. “I was trying to stay in the Dallas–Fort Worth area so I chose Collin College.” He began attending Collin College in 2008, and honed his skills by taking classes such as audio engineering and music theory. “The professors really taught me about the basics of audio engineering and how to get things accomplished,” Tarpley said. “I really learned a lot about the philosophy of music. ” After being introduced to SoMo by another Collin College student, the two hit it off and began recording covers of songs along with original music. The first mixtape was finished in 2012, which included “Ride.”

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“The experience of writing that song was crazy, yet really cool,” Tarpley recalled. “The song was written in a bedroom and we didn’t have a big fanbase. It was unreal watching the song progress from nothing to a well-known song. When it was certified gold, we all said, ‘Wow.’” For Tarpley, the writing process is a detailed endeavor full of collaboration and editing. First, if he’s working with another writer or artist, he’ll discuss the focus of the song and try get a clear concept and direction. After that, he starts with basic chord progressions on a piano or guitar to find different melodies. “A lot of the songwriting process for me is literally just jamming,” he said. “You let the microphone run, you listen back and see where to expand. From there you make a song.” In addition to his work with SoMo, Tarpley now lives in Los Angeles and is working as a producer and songwriter developing young artists who don’t have original music. “I love writing, producing and playing instruments because it’s all part of creating,” said Tarpley, who in addition to his songwriting credits, plays the guitar and drums among other instruments. “I really like having my hands in every aspect of the song. If there’s any way I can contribute to building a song, I’m interested.” When working with young artists, Tarpley strives to understand who they are as people and creates a song that reflects them. “Sometimes the hardest thing with songwriting is to keep going,” Tarpley said. “Everyone gets writer’s block and great artists aren’t writing great songs every single day. You have to finish what you start and not let yourself get in the way of your own success.” For more information about the Collin College department of music, www.collin.edu/department/music/. v Holly Harvey is a public relations writer at Collin College.

Photos are courtesy of Cody Tarpley Allen Image | March 2015

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cooking

by Deborah DOVE

For many Texans, spring marks the beginning of weekend camping trips— exploring the great outdoors, sleeping under the stars, and of course, cooking over a campfire. Campground meals are cooking at its most simplistic—all you need is a campfire, a cooler to keep your food fresh and a cast-iron skillet, and you can cook just about anything. And whether you’re camping in a state park or your backyard, somehow everything tastes better when you cook it over a campfire. Following are some recipes and tips to get your camping season off to a delicious start.

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Campfire Nachos

You’ll need a cast iron skillet for this one. 1 bag corn chips 14 oz. can refried beans 6 oz. can black olives 8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated 2 tomatoes, chopped 1/2 onion, diced 8 oz. jar salsa 14 oz. can sweet corn 4 oz. can diced jalapenos (optional) Build a 1’ x 1’ bed of hot coals underneath a campfire grate or in the

center of stable rocks, which will support the base of your cast iron pan. Place a layer of chips in the bottom of the pan, and top them with half of the beans, olives, cheese, tomatoes, onion, salsa, corn and jalapenos. Place a second layer of chips on top of the other ingredients, and then top these chips with the remaining ingredients, finishing with the cheese on top. Cover the top of the pan with a sheet of foil, and carefully place the pan on top of the grate or rocks. Let nachos cook, maintaining the hot coals for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.


Move the pan to a heatproof location and allow nachos to cool for a few minutes. Serve on plates or eat straight out of the pan with a fork!

Place the packets on the grate and cook for a few minutes on each side until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crisp.

Campfire Crescent Roll Hot

Nutella and Banana S

Dogs

Sandwich

Wrap hot dogs in crescent roll triangles (make sure ends of dough overlap so they don’t fall off). Skewer on a stick and roast over a fire until golden brown.

more

Spread Nutella on a peanut butter cookie, top with a few slices of banana and then add a toasted marshmallow. Top with another cookie for a gooey, yummy s’more sandwich.

Campfire Blueberry Orange Muffins

1 box blueberry muffin mix Oranges Aluminum foil Prepare muffin batter according to directions. Cut an orange in half and scoop out the pulp. Fill one half of the orange with blueberry muffin mix. Cover the filled orange half with the other orange half and wrap in three

Campfire Mushroom and Corn Quesadillas

These are super tasty cooked on a grate over a campfire and you can substitute the mushrooms and corn with other veggies, beans or just plain cheese. After they’re cooked, just unwrap, let cool slightly and eat. No plate needed. 2 tsp. oil 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 10 mushrooms, thinly sliced 1/2 c. corn 4 flour tortillas 1 c. shredded pepper jack cheese For the veggies: Lay out a piece of foil and center onion, mushrooms and corn on the foil. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring up the sides of the foil and double fold the ends to make a packet. Place on the grate and cook until veggies are tender (or cook on a camp stove). Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. (The veggie mixture can also be made a day or two ahead of time). For the quesadillas: Lay out four pieces of foil and place a tortilla on top of each piece. Divide half the cheese among the four tortillas, sprinkling it down the center of each. Divide the veggie mixture evenly among the tortillas and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the veggies. Fold the two sides of the tortilla toward the center and then wrap the quesadilla in the foil, sealing the edges to make a packet. Allen Image | March 2015

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layers of aluminum. Throw wrapped oranges into the fire (they won’t burn). Turn the aluminum foil balls over in the fire every minute or so for about ten minutes or until they’re firm in the middle. Unwrap and eat with a spoon. Stick Steak

Thread cubed steak onto hot dog grilling sticks and cook over open flame until desired doneness. Dip steak in sour cream, seasoned salt and chopped scallions. Hamburger Hobo Dinner in Tin Foil

1 lb. ground beef 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 c. carrots, thinly sliced 1 onion, diced Salt and pepper, to taste Worcestershire sauce BBQ sauce Shredded cheddar cheese Use a large square piece of aluminum foil for each tin foil dinner.

Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Separate ground beef into four equal patties and place in the center of each piece of foil. Divide potatoes, carrots and onion evenly between all four dinners and place on top of meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce on top of each

dinner and fold foil up tightly around the entire meal. Cook on a grill on medium-high heat or an open fire for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables and meat are cooked through. Open foil carefully and top with BBQ sauce and shredded cheese. Campfire Food and Tips

• Freeze meat before packing. It will keep longer and you won’t have to buy as much ice. Freeze meats in marinade, if applicable. • Pack separate bags with the ingredients for each meal grouped together in each bag, including one with snacks and s’more fixings. • Don’t forget cleaning supplies such as a tub and dish soap for washing dishes and a grill brush for scraping the grill at the campsite. • Use liquid eggs in a carton for easier transportation. • Freeze gallon-sized jugs of water to keep food cold. They’ll last for days and won’t drip water into the cooler. • Using canned biscuits, wrap biscuit dough around a stick and roast over a campfire until cooked. Roll in melted butter and a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. • Roast Peeps instead of marsh­ mallows for a special treat. v Deborah Dove is a freelance writer from Allen.

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MARKET PLACE

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pet page

“Duke” Duke is Chow Chow/German Shepherd mix that was at The Colony Animal Shelter, scared and desperately in need of rescue. He was taken into foster care where he has been making progress daily. He is a little shy at first, but once he gets to know you, you’ve made a friend for life. He would probably do best in a home without young kids due to his shyness, but homes with older, courteous kids or no kiddos would be best. He is six years old and weighs 30 pounds. He has been neutered, brought current on vaccinations, microchipped and is current on heartworm preventative. He is also cratetrained and housebroken. 

All he needs now is a forever home to call his own. Will that home be yours? Please complete an online application at www. legacyhumanesociety.org and his foster mom will be in touch. v

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calendar

MARCH 4

Allen ISD Kindergarten Readiness Program, 6:308:30 p.m., Lowery Freshman Center, 601 East Main St., Allen. Doors open at 6 pm, AISD administrators and teachers will present Kindergarten Readiness from 7-8. Private/Transitional Kindergarten Fair before and after. The Allen ISD Kindergarten Readiness Program is a free community event sponsored by Allen ISD and the Allen Early Childhood PTA. For more info: http://www.aecpta.com/.

5 ”Chalk It Up” Workshop, 7-9 pm, Resurrected Designs, 700 Main Street, Garland. Bring a friend and come make new ones during this fun, hands-on painting workshop. Amy with High Style ReStyle will introduce you to the creative world of chalk-type paint. This 2-hour class features painting and finishing an original décor piece perfect for a gift or display in your own home. Class includes all supplies—just bring your

excitement and don’t forget to wear painting clothes! For more info: http:// resurrecteddesigns.storenvy.com/ products/11821560-chalk-it-upworkshop. 14 A Celebration of Collin County Women in Public Administration presented by the Collin County League of Women Voters, 11 am-2 pm, Gleneagles Country Club, 5401 Park Boulevard, Plano. 8 outstanding women from Collin County municipal governments will share their stories about why they were motivated to seek public service and how their leadership has benefited their communities. For more info: www.lwvcollin.org. 21 ”Special Angels Among Us” Special Olympics Gala presents Black Tie and White Diamonds, 6-11 pm, Marriott Courtyard, Allen. Silent and live auctions. For more info: lisa_grantham@allenisd. org. 22 Allen Civic Ballet will present ”Pirouettes for Pets,” a dance

performance, 3 pm, Allen Civic Auditorium, Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Drive. The ballet hopes to raise awareness about animal adoption and responsible pet ownership. Featuring classical and contemporary selections culminating in “Stupid Ballerina Tricks,” and a winner being selected by the audience. Admission is free, but donations to the Allen Animal Shelter are welcome. For more info: allencivicballet.org. 23/24 Indesign Fundraising Sale sponsored by the Volunteer Auxiliary of Medical Center of McKinney, 7 am-7 pm on Mar. 23; and 7 am-4 pm on Mar. 24, Classroom 3 & 4 at 4500 Medical Center Drive, McKinney. Fabulous fashions, fabulous prices at 20%75% off retail. There will be $6 jewelry, accessories, novelty items and more. Proceeds go to support volunteers’ philanthropy projects for surrounding communities and hospital. For more info: Auxiliary President, Diane Tubbs, 972.549.4444.

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each dance. For more information, contact Dana Gillespie at Dgillespie@cityofallen.org or 214.509.4707.

CITY OF ALLEN Allen Event Center

Tickets on sale now through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster. com), charge by phone at 800.745.3000 or at the Allen Event Center box office. For more information, visit www. alleneventcenter.com. 4-7

Lone Star Conference Basketball Championship

17-18 Allen Americans vs Wichita Thunder 20

Texas Revolution vs New Mexico Stars

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Allen Americans vs Tulsa Oilers

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Allen Americans vs Missouri Mavericks

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Allen Americans vs Tulsa Oilers

14/28 Saturday Night Rec n Roll, Joe Farmer Rec Center. Fun, safe social program for students 3rd-6th grade. Gym games, dancing, music, dodge ball, pool, table tennis, contests and prizes. Supervision provided, concessions available. ID card (annual $5 fee) is required. Walk up admission $10 at the door! 21

Parks and Recreation Events 6

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Black Light Zumba Party. Ditch the workout and join the party at Joe Farmer Recreation Center! Learn Latin- based moves to all your favorite songs in this high-intensity cardio party all under the black lights! All fitness levels welcome. Wear your favorite neons and get ready to light up the night! For more information call 214.509.4750. Spring Break Intro to Ice Skating. Learn to ice skate in this one day introductory class that focuses on teaching the basic skating skills. The Allen Community Ice Rink will offer a 30-minute lesson followed by a complimentary 90-minute open skate. Helmets are recommended for skaters under the age of five. For more information call 972.912.1097.

Family Night at The Edge Skate Park. An opportunity for families to bring out their small children and enjoy the skate park free of older influences. Children must be accompanied by at least one parent to gain entrance to the park.

SNAP Dance at Recreation Hall. Special Needs and Adapted Program! Music, a fun theme and snacks. This month is Mardi Gras-themed! Register early, the fee increases to $15 at 5 p.m. the Wednesday prior to

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Under the Sea Adventure. Egg hunters of all abilities will have the opportunity to collect weighted eggs from the bottom of the pool or floating eggs from the top and receive treats for their efforts! The Easter bunny will be present for pictures and craft activities are available on land. The Egg Hunt will occur at the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium in varying depths of water to allow participation by all swimming levels. Groups will be assigned based on age. Pre-Registration is required by March 20.

Eggcellent Family Adventure. Bring your Easter basket and come stroll through Allen Civic Plaza from 9 a.m. until noon. Kids can visit tables hosted by civic organizations and local businesses to receive eggs, candy and other goodies. The event would not be complete without a visit from the Easter Bunny. There is a lot more to enjoy too with great activities like games, crafts, face painters and a bounce house. For more information contact Dana Hale at dhale@ cityofallen.org or 214.509.4707 Family 1 Mile “Color the Park” Run. Celebrate health, happiness and individuality with the most colorful 1- mile fitness run in Allen. Bring the entire family to Bethany Lakes Park for this unique experience. Wear a white shirt at the starting line and prepare to be plastered in color by the time you’ve completed the run! Run times will be at 10 am and 11 am. For more information call 214.509.4754.

ALLEN PUBLIC LIBRARY Children’s Programs Story Times run through April 23.

Baby & Me—For pre-walkers with an adult Thurs., 10:15 am Fun Ones—For 1 year-olds with an adult Mon.,Tues. & Wed., 10:15 am.

Family Together Time—For children 2-6 years and their family Mon., Tues. & Thurs., 11:15 am. All By Myself—For 4 & 5 year-olds ready to attend independently, Wed., 11:15 am.

Pajama Story Time—For children 2-6 years and their family, Tues. & Thurs., 7 pm.

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Noontime Pageturners, noon, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd Bring a lunch and a friend and join us for a lively discussion! A relaxed environment where you can share the joy of reading.

Discover a Healthier You—Zumba® Fitness Style, Kimberly Labbe, Allen Senior Recreation Center Instructor, 12-1 pm, 2nd floor program room. Experience a Zumba® Fitness Style demo class. This dance program incorporates Latin and International music. No dance experience is needed, and men and women of all fitness levels can enjoy and benefit from this exciting workout. Water, comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended. Get ready to party! Age 18+. Call 214.509.4913 for more information. The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, 2 pm, 2nd floor program room. This program is designed to provide you with the basic information that everyone needs to know about memory loss issues. Bring your family to learn how these diseases affect all of us. Mary Landers from the Alzheimer’s Association will be presenting. Ages 16+. Register online at www. allenlibrary.org or call 214.509.4905. Walk-ins welcome as space permits.


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Creative Doodle Art, 10:30 am, 1st floor meeting room. Inspirational art instructor Cher Kaufmann shares this fun and relaxing art form with families. You’ll learn to recognize inspiration through patterns all around you as you put pen to paper. No art experience necessary; all supplies will be provided. Ages 9 through 90+. Limited to first 40 people; free tickets available at 10 am in the gallery hallway. Call 214.509.4913 for more details. Twisted Threads—A Fiber Craft Circle, 6:30 pm, 2nd floor program room. A social group for knitters, crocheters, quilters and other crafts with thread or yarn! All skill levels welcome! Bring your project.

DIY@APL—Springtime Paper Stars, 10-11:30 am. Create folded paper stars to enhance your springtime decor. Instructions and supplies will be provided. Age 18+.

Talking History—The Myth and Reality of Texas, 1880-1960, 7 pm, 2nd floor program room. Dr. David Cullen of Collin College will discuss this overlooked period of history and the implications it had for both Texas and the nationolonists who became supporters of the rebellion. Registration is required. Register online or contact 214.509.4905.

Trivia Night, 7-8:30 pm, 2nd floor program room. Test your knowledge in literature, history, science and more! Ages 18+. Limit teams to 4 members. Free; register online at www.allenlibrary.org or call 214506-4905 or 214-506-4913. Contact Emily Plagens at eplagens@cityofallen.org. Networking is Your New Net Worth! Carolyn Winkler, Career Development Consultant, 7 pm, 2nd floor program room. Learn how to position yourself for networking success by learning how to overcome the 7 common networking mistakes. Find out tips to work any room like you own it and learn how to develop an award-winning 30-second commercial. 18+. Register online at www.allenlibrary.org or call 214.509.4905. Walk-ins welcome as space permits.

ALLen Reads Book Discussion—Orphan Train, 12-1 pm, 2nd floor program room. This year’s selection by Christina Baker Kline tells the story of two women who come together through unlikely circumstances and benefit from each other’s experiences. Feel free to bring your lunch or pick up a meal at the library’s Food for Thought Café. To learn more about the ALLen Reads program and the author’s library talk on April 9, go to AllenFriends.org. A limited number of copies are available to sign out from the Information Desk. Call 214.509.4913. Twisted Threads Fiber Craft Circle—Morning Edition, 10:30 am, 2nd floor program room. Do you knit or crochet? Or make spectacular things with thread and yarn? If so, Twisted Threads is for you! Twisted Threads is a social group for knitters, crocheters, felters, quilters and other crafters who use thread or yarn! All skill levels welcome! Bring your latest project and work on it in the company of other fiber crafters.

Game of Thrones Party, 2 pm, 2nd floor program room. Season 5 is coming. Come relive the last few seasons. If you have read the books, please stick around for our in-depth discussion on who we think will finally win the Game of Thrones. We will also have cake, photo booth props, quizzes and door prizes! Ages 18+. Register online at www. allenlibrary.org or call 214.509.4913/214.509.4905. Walk-ins welcome as space permits. Armchair Travelers Visit Tibet, 7pm, 2nd floor program room. Join world traveler Matt Morgan as he shares stories, pictures and videos from his travels to Tibet. Snacks from, and representative of, Tibet will be available to sample. Registration is required. Register online at www.allenlibrary.org or contact the Reference Desk at 214.509.4905.

Connemara Conservancy Connemara Meadow Preserve

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Bird Walk at the Connemara Meadow Preserve, 8-11 am, Allen. Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them; learn what to watch for in habits, characteristics and calls from Gailon and Rodney,

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with Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society. All ages welcome. We recommend wearing long pants, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Open House, 1 pm, Connemara Meadow Preserve. Join us to wander (and wonder) at the meadow hiking the trails, watching flora and fauna. Enter at Wooded Gate on East side of Alma, south of Bethany.

Heard Museum

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For more info: www.heardmuseum.org.

Family Canoe Try-It, 1-4 pm. Give canoeing a try! No experience is necessary. After safety and paddling introduction, spend about 30-40 minutes on a guided canoe trail around our wetlands followed by free time to explore on your own. Registration required.

Owl Prowl Night Hike, 6:30-9:15 pm. Bring your family to see a live owl presentation and then stay for a guided night hike on our sanctuary trails. Preregistration required.

CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS

City of Allen offers a variety of affordable recreational classes and programs. Register at Joe Farmer Rec Center, 214.509.4750 or Rodenbaugh Natatorium, 214.509.4770. For more info: www.allenparks.org.

Urban Explorers, laid back, fun, diverse social group with meetups throughout Dallas area. For more info: www.meetup.com/getoutandabout. MOMS Club of Allen, group for moms and children who live in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Monthly playgroups, kid field trips and business tours, special events, Mom’s Night Out and more. For more info: http://momsclubofallentx.weekly.com or momsclubofallentx@gmail.com. Allen Early Childhood PTA, support for parents & caregivers of kids age 0-5. Fun activities. Play

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groups, park days, lunch with friends, field trips, Mom’s Night Out, Dads & Kids and other events. Come play with us. For more info: www.aecpta.com or information@aecpta. com.

Heart Link Women’s Networking group, women only business networking. Monthly meetings—days and locations vary. For more info: www.75013.theheartlinknetwork.com.

Baylor Health Care System offers support groups, medical information and events. For more info: www.BaylorHealth.com. Plano Bicycle Association, club rides, social activities, monthly meetings, newsletters. For more info: Chris Mathews, 972.964.2869 or www. planobicycle.org.

American Cancer Society Road to Recovery needs volunteers to drive cancer patients to appointments. If you have a car and can spare time 9-5, you can help. For more info: Debbie Moen, 972.712.5711. MOMS Club McKinney Central, support group for stayat-home moms. Play groups, daytime activities, Mom’s Night Out, parties, babysitting co-op, etc. Monthly bus. meeting. For more info: MckinneyMoms@yahoo.com. Every Monday-Friday

The Shores AA Group, noon, Raceway Prof.Bldg., 200 W. Boyd, Suite C (Adjacent to Dayrise Recovery), Allen. Open AA discussion group. Everyone welcome. For more info: 469.854.9593.

Texas Health Presbyterian, a variety of events. For more info: www.texashealth.org.

Divorce Care, 13-week courses—biblical teaching for recovering from divorce. For more info: Kim Tedford: 214.544.8050 ext. 109, ktedford@creekwoodumc.org or www.creekwoodumc.org.

Every Monday-Sunday Allen AA meets, 601 S. Greenville. Mon.-Fri., 7 pm; Sat., 9 am; Sun., 7:30 pm. For more info: Joe, 214.564.9403 & Tina, 214.566.7561.

Every Monday Allen Toastmasters’ Club, 6:30 pm, Train Depot, 100 E. Main, Allen. Guests welcome. For more info: Joe Nave at 214.566.3100.

Ericsson Village Toastmasters Club, 121 pm, Ericsson, 6300 Legacy, Plano. Guests welcome. For more info: Per Treven, 972.583.8273 or per.treven@ ericsson.com. Allen Symphony Chorus rehearsals, 7-9 pm, choir room at First UMC. For more info: Henry@WealthManagementGroupLLC. com

Fit and Funky Fit Club, 7:30 pm, Unlimited Success Martial Arts, 604 W. Bethany #208, Allen. Work out to p90x, Insanity, etc. Free. For more info: fitandfunky@att.net.

Preston Persuaders Toastmasters, 7:15 pm, Custer Road United Methodist Church, Rm B2, 6601 Custer Rd, Plano. For more info: Ed Meissner, 469.323.0538 or Todd Richardson, 214.497.4495 or www.prestonpersuaders.org.

First and Third Monday Singles Mingle 60+, 5:30 pm, Zin Zen Wine & Bistro, 6841 Virginia Pkwy., McKinney. A group for single men and women 60+ living in McKinney and surrounding areas who are active and enjoy meeting new people. For more info: Bill, 214.544.5835. Second Monday

The MOB (Men of Business), 11:30 am-1 pm, TopGolf USA, Allen for male bonding and networking over lunch. $20 chamber mem; $25 nonmems/general public. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com.


American Association of University Women-Plano/ Collin County Branch, 6:45 pm, 2nd Floor Conservatory, Senior Living Center, 6401 Ohio Dr., Plano. Open to anyone with assoc. or bachelors degree interested in helping women. For more info: Carol, 972.862.3460 or www. aauwplanocollin.org. Lone Star Parliamentary Unit, 10:30 am, meets Sept.-May, except Dec., Allen Public Library. Promotes parliamentary education. For more info: 972.727.3090, Mae Shaw, President.

Heard Museum Collin County Hobby Beekeepers, 7 pm, Heard Craig Center, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566 or www. northtexasbeekeepers.org.

Collin County Early Childhood PTA, 9:45 am, Parkway Hills Baptist Church, 2700 Dallas Pkwy., Plano. Nursery res. required. For more info: Suzanne Judkins, 972.712.3634.

Sons of Confederate Veterans, William H. L. Wells Camp, No. 1588, 7 pm, Tino’s Too Restaurant, 2205 Ave. K, Plano. Speakers, programs, etc. Open to anyone interested. For more info: Lloyd Campbell, 972.442.5982.

Veterans of Foreign Wars “Lone Star Post 2150,” 1710 N. Church St, McKinney. Post Members, 6:30 pm; Ladies Auxiliary, 5:45 pm; Men’s Auxiliary, 6:30 pm. For more info: 972.542.9119, gmlsp2150@gmail.com or visit on web: www.vfwpost2150.org.

Third Monday

Allen Retired Educators, 10:30 am, Heritage Ranch Country Club, 465 Scenic Ranch Circle, Fairview. RSVP: Janeen Chattaway@ janeen03j@yahoo.com.

Collin County Aggie Moms, 7 pm, Texas A&M Ext. Center, Coit between Bush Tollway & Campbell. For more info: 972.382.3124 or www.collincountymoms. aggienetwork.com.

Plano Amateur Radio Klub, 7 pm, all welcome. For more info: www.K5PRK.net.

Breast Cancer Support Group for patients, family & friends, noon, N. Central Medical Center, 4500 Medical Center Dr., McKinney. For more info: Kelly Finley Brown, 972.540.4984.

First Nighter African Violet Society, 7 pm, Stacy Road Pet Hospital, 451 Stacy Road, Fairview. Promotes widespread interest in African violets and study of their growth habits. For more info: 972.398.3478 or www.beautifulviolets.org. NARFE Chapter 559, 2 pm at Golden Corral, 475 S. Central Expressway (75 & Virginia Pkwy), McKinney. All current government employees and retirees are invited.

Fourth Monday

Allen Seniors Genealogy Club, 1 pm, Allen Seniors Center. Must be a member of ASRC. For more info: www.asgconline.com or Richard Henry, 972.390.7402.

Plano Photography Club, 7 pm, Grace Presbyterian Church, 4300 W. Park Blvd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.planophotographyclub.com.

Every Tuesday

Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce Tuesday Morning Live networking breakfast, 7:30 am, 5th Street Pizza, 111 Central Expwy., #102, (Inside Stacy Furniture). $1 member/$10 non-mem. 1st visit free. For more info: 972.727.5585. 2ChangeU Toastmasters, 7-8:45 pm, Plano Family YMCA, 3300 McDermott Rd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.2changeu.org.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly, 6:15-8 pm, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 750 W. Lucas Road, Lucas. For more info: 1.800.YEA.TOPS or www.tops.org.

Toastmasters Creative Expressions, 11:15 am12:30 pm. Raytheon, McKinney. Guests welcome.

Every Tuesday & Thursday

Allen Serenity Al-Anon Family Group, 7 pm, 1st UMC, Wesley House, 601 S Greenville. Offers strength & hope to friends & family of alcoholics. For more info: 214.363.0461 or www.al-anon.alateen.org.

Volunteer Master Gardeners offer landscaping & gardening advice, 9 am-4 pm. Texas A&M’s Co-op Extension, 825 N. McDonald #150, McKinney. For more info: 972.548.4232 or 972.424.1460. First Tuesday Heard Museum Native Plant Society, 7:30 pm, One Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566. First and Third Tuesday Allen Lions Club, 7 pm, Kelly’s at the Village, 190 E. Stacy Rd., #1204, Allen. For more info: Bob Schwerd, Secretary, 214.402.0982.

Common Threads of Allen, 7 pm, Whole Foods Market Café, Stacy Rd. Share needle-work projects, learn techniques, make friends. For more info: contact Debi Maige at 214.704.0994 or debik@verizon.net. Legacy 4-H Club (Allen and Lucas), 7 pm, Lovejoy High School, Lucas. For more info: kathrin_esposito@asus.com or 214.616.2460.

Second Tuesday

Allen Senior Citizens Luncheon, 11:30 am, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville. For more info: 214.509.4820.

Blackland Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, 7-9 pm, Heard Museum, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.bptmn.org or email info@bptmn.org.

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Collin County Archaeology Society, 7 pm, Texas Star Bank, McKinney. For more info: archaeology@netzero.net.

Collin County ADD/LD Parent Support Group, 79 pm, parlor, 1st UMC, 601 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. For more info: Shirli Salter, sscaroline@aol.com.

Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano, 9:30 am, SMU in Plano, 5236 Tennyson Parkway. Guests welcome. For more info: www.newcomerfriends.org.

McKinney Amateur Radio Club, 7 pm, Spring Creek Bar B Que 1993 North Central Expressway, McKinney. For more information: 972.814.4190.

Plano Pacers run at Schimelpfenig Library parking lot, 5024 Custer, in Plano, 7 pm. For more info: www.planopacers.org.

Third Tuesday

McKinney Area Newcomers’ Club, 9:30 am, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 W. Virginia Pkwy., McKinney. For more info: www.mckinneynewcomers.com.

Plano Republican Women’s Club, 11:30 am, Southfork Hotel, 1600 N. Central Expy., Plano. For more info: www.planorepublicanwomen.com.

Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR, The General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter meets Aug.-May. For more info:txshawm@sbcglobal.net.

Allen-Frisco-Plano Autism Spectrum Parents Group provides support & resources for parents of children with autism & related developmental disabilities. Join online group at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ autismparentsupport.

Fourth Tuesday

Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, 11:30 am-1 pm. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com.

Heard Museum Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society meets at 7 pm, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566..

Every Wednesday

Allen Rotary Club, noon, Courtyard by Marriot, 210 East Stacy Rd. For more info: www.allenrotary.org.

Allen Sunrise Rotary Club, 7 am, Savour Tasting Room & Social Club, 968 Village Green Dr., Allen. For more info: 972.673.8221 or www.allensunriserotary. com/

McKinney Chess on the Square, 4-7 pm, Downtown McKinney Performing Arts Center. Open play & lessons. Promotes creativity, imagination & strategic thinking. For more info, 214.620.0527 or mckinneychess.org.

Toastmasters SpeakUp Allen, “Become the Speaker and Leader you can be,” 7 pm, IHOP, 315 Central Expy, Allen. For more info: Bill Peterson, 972.523.9425.

First and Third Wednesday MOPS of Hope Plano, Hope Community Church, 9:30-11:30, 3405 Custer, #200, Plano. For more info: 214.762.0037 or www.mopsofhope.com. Second Wednesday VFW Post 2195, 7:30 pm, Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, 1015 Hwy. 121, Allen. For more info: Larry Nordgaard, 972.727.9956 or www. vfw2195.org. Collin County Genealogical Society, 7 pm, Haggard Library, 2501 Coit Rd, Plano. For more info: ccgs.programs@gmail.com. Third Wednesday Greater Collin County Kennel Club, 7 pm, Joe Farmer Rec Ctr, 1201 E. Bethany, Allen. For more info: www.greatercollinkc.org. Every Thursday Allen Kiwanis Club, Noon, Café Del Rio, on 75 just south of McDermott. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.allenkiwanis.org.

First Wednesday

Art History Brown Bag Series, 12:30-1:30 pm, Heard-Craig Carriage House, 205 W. Hunt St., McKinney. Lectures presented by Annie Royer. Bring lunch. For more info: 972.569.6909 or www.headcraig.org.

Allen Heritage Guild, 6:30 pm, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main. For more info: 972.740.8017 or www.allenheritageguild. org. Collin County Master Gardeners guided tour of Myers Park, 10 am, 7117 County Rd. 166, McKinney. Reservations req. For more info: 972.548.4232 or go to mgcollin@ag.tamu. edu.

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Weight Watchers, 12:15 and 6 pm, 1st United Methodist Church, 600 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. Enter south entrance, 2nd floor.

Bible Study, 9:30–11:30 am, Community North Baptist Church, 2500 Community Avenue, McKinney. Bible study for women and children. Studying Luke. Reg. req. For more info: katpf@att.nett or mckinneyallen.cbsclass. org.

Allen Garden Club, meets 7 pm, gardening talks by area experts, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main. For more info: Denise Webre, 972.390.8536 or www. allengardenclub.org.

North Dallas Newcomers, 11 am, Prestonwood Country Club, 15909 Preston Rd, Dallas. Becky Terry will entertain with stories and antidotes from the Age of Camelot when Jackie Kennedy was America’s royalty. Please contact Jayne Holley at jayneholley@ gmail.com if you would like to attend. For more info: www.northdallasnewcomers.net. W.I.S.E. (Women in Support of Enterprise), 11:30 am. Location varies. Networking & discussion of women’s issues. Fun & informative meeting for women in Allen & surrounding areas. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: www.allenchamber.com. Lovejoy Preschool PTA. Monthly general meetings at Creekwood UUMC, 261 Country Club Road, Fairview. Different topic and guest speakers each month. Lunch provided free; babysitting available for nominal fee. For more info: www.lovejoypa.org, meetup.com/LovejoyPreschool-PTA/. FUMC Legal Aid Clinic, 6-8 pm, First United Methodist Church, 601 S. Greenville, Allen. Legal assistance for civil matters for low income individuals in partnership with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas. Food & fellowship provided. For more info: kim.klieger@gmail.com or ww.lanwt.org.

Allen High Noon Lions Club, 5th Street Pizza (inside Stacy Furniture), 111 Central Expwy. S. For more info: Peter Young, 972.849.4952.

Allen Area Patriots, 7-8:45 pm, Failth Fellowship Church, 415 West Lucas Road, Lucas. Local Tea Party presents speakers, encouraging citizens to participate in the political process. For more info: www.AllenAreaPatriots.com.

Third Thursday

Second Thursday

Speak Up! Frisco Toastmasters Club, 7-7:30 pm social, 7:30-8:30 meeting. U of D-Frisco campus, 6843 W. Main. For more info: http://speakupfrisco.freetoasthost.ws.

First Thursday

Second and Fourth Thursday

Allen Classic Cars, 7-10 pm, 103-111 N. Central, parking lot of Stacy Furniture.

McKinney Area Republican Co-Ed Club, 7 pm, Collin County GOP Headquarters, 8416 Stacey Rd., #100, McKinney. Location sometimes varies. For more info: collincountyconservativerepublicans.com.

PSA:NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness] of Collin County, 7:30 pm, Custer Road UMC, 6601 Custer Road, Plano. Enter SE end, room B2. Peer support group, B6 and Family support group, B1, meet from 6:30-7:20 pm. For more info: www.namicco.org.

Sweet Adelines, NoteAbly North Texas Chorus, 7 pm, Grace Evangelical Free Church, 2005 Estates Pkwy, Allen. Women of Allen & surrounding area invited. For more info: nntchorus@hotmail.com or www. nntchorus.org.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Collin County), Recovery support for adults living with mental illness. Led by trained individuals. Free, 6:308:30 pm, Custer Road UMC, 6601 Custer Rd., Plano. For more info: 214.509.0085 or www.namicco.org.

Xtra Years of Zest Seniors Luncheon, noon, First United Methodist Church Allen, 601 S. Greenville, Fellowship Hall. Lunch, fellowship, speakers & entertainers. For more info: griflkl@sbcglobal.net.

Live @ 5 Business After Hours, 5-6:30 pm at various member businesses. Free. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com. Allen Quilters’ Guild, 6:30 pm, 1st Presbyterian Church, 605 S Greenville. For more info: www.allenquilters.org. Collin County Republican Men’s Club, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: www.ccrmc.org.

Cancer Support Ministry, 7 pm, 1st Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E101. For more info: James Craver, 972.727.8241. Knights of Columbus, 7:30 pm, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville, Allen. For more info: Steve Nagy, 469.569.3357 or www. stjudekofc.org.

Allen/McKinney Area Mothers of Multiples, new & expectant moms’ forum, 7 pm, First Christian Church, 1800 W. Hunt, McKinney. For more info: www.amamom.org or 972.260.9330.

Fourth Thursday

Voyagers Social Club of McKinney, 10 am, HeardCraig Hall Gallery, 306 N. Church St., McKinney. Social club open to women in McKinney and surrounding areas. For more info: voyagersofmckinney@gmail.com.

Every Other Thursday

North Texas Referral Group, 11:45 am, Friday’s (121 & Preston). For more info: www.ntrg.info.

Every Friday

Allen Senior Rec Center Dances, 1-3 pm. Ages 50+. Mem. free/Non-mem. Allen res. $3. For more info: 214.509.4820. McKinney Chess Club, 2-5 pm, Senior Center, 1400 South College Street, McKinney. Adults 50+(Free). For more info: 972.547.7491.

Every Other Friday

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), nondenominational support group for moms with kids 0-5 years, 9:30-11:45 am, First Baptist Church in Allen. Childcare provided. For more info: 972.727.8241.

First Friday

Italian Lovers of North Dallas, 7 pm, Italian Villa, 121 N Greenville Ave, Ste B, Allen. Do you like Italy? Many bilingual Italian-Americans meet here every month to chat in Italian and find new friends. For more info: email ITALOVERS@tx.rr.com.


First & Third Friday

Classic 55+ Game Night, 6:30 pm, First Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E104. Snacks, fellowship and games. Open to community, no res. required. For more info: 972.727.8241 or Eddie Huckabee at huckgolf@hotmail.com.

Every Saturday

McKinney Chess Club, 10:30 am-1:30 pm, McKinney Public Library, 101 E Hunt St. Any age. Free. For more info: 972.547.7491.

First Saturday

VFW “Lone Star Post 2150” Motorcycle Group 33, 10 am, 1710 N. Church St., McKinney. For more info: “Driveway John” 971.822.4483, gmlsp2150@gmail.com or visit www.vfwpost2150.org.

Open Forum, meaningful discussions, 3 pm, Delaney’s Pub, 6150 W. Eldorado Pkwy., McKinney. For more info: Charlie, 214.585.0004.

Second Saturday

Department 56 Village Collectors Club meets in the Plano/North Dallas area to share ideas. For more info: www.bigd56ers.com.

Heard Museum Nature Photography Club meeting, 1:30 pm, Heard Museum, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566. Vrooman’s Regiment, Children of the American Revolution, service organization teaches children to serve their community. For more info: 972.396.8010.

Third Saturday

Single Side Up, 7 pm, This Side Up Family Center, 1100 Capital Ave., Plano. Single parent support group. No charge to attend. Low cost child care is available. For more info: www.singlesideup.org or info@ thissideupfamily.org.

Allen Folk Music Society, 7-10 pm, The Blue House, 102 S. Allen Dr. Musicians 15-100. Bring snacks to share. For more info: www.twiceasfar.com.

Fourth Saturday

American Sewing Guild, 10 am-noon, Christ United Methodist Church, 3101 Coit Rd (at Parker), in Plano. For more info: Jane Johnson, 972.841.6854 or www.planoasg. org.

Last Saturday

Plano Pacers run at Bob Woodruff Park on San Gabriel Rd., Plano, 8 am. For more info: Bob Wilmot, 972.678.2244, or www.planopacers. org.

Every Sunday

Fit and Funky Fit Club, 7:30 pm, Unlimited Success Martial Arts, 604 W. Bethany #208, Allen. Work out live to p90x, Insanity, etc. Free. For more info: fitandfunky@att.net.

First Sunday

United Methodist Women’s Reading Group, 2 pm, FUMC, 601 S. Greenville. Join us for book discussion and refreshments. Book selections are determined at the January meeting. We encourage women of all faiths to participate. For more info: http://www.fumcallen.org.

Please keep us informed of any local activities or events of general interest to our readers by fax

to the Allen Image at 972.396.0807 or email to contact@allenimage.com.

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For Your Health

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For Your Health

Allen Image | March 2015

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by Peggy Helmick-RICHARDSON


cover story Fifteen years ago Allen brought Mark Kaufmann on board to get city council meetings televised on a cable access channel. Today, Mark serves as Allen City Television’s executive pro­ ducer with two additional producers on his staff, and the station offers a wide array of entertaining and informative short videos available live, as well as on demand. A case overflowing with awards, including eight Emmys, in the foyer of City Hall attests to the success and respect Allen City Television (ACTV) has earned. As executive producer, Mark was the direct recipient of seven of the eight Emmys. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduating from high school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Mark enrolled in Coastal Carolina College, uncertain of his career path. A theater appreciation class set him on the road that eventually led to Allen. Mark then moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he worked in the printing business—a job he credits for helping him develop vital computer and camera skills. A year later, he enrolled in the University of Arizona where he acted in several productions. A film appreciation class here pointed Mark in a new direction to explore. “I decided I wanted to go into media arts and film,” he continues. ”The University of Arizona had a film program where you could shoot on 16mm and I fell in love with that.” Mark recalls that one of the instructors at the university scoffed at his interest in film, stating, “Don’t you know this will be a dinosaur in a few years?” Shrugging, Mark continues, “Obviously he was talking about video versus film but it’s a couple of decades later and people are still using film. At that time, I felt like I was going backward going from film to video because the quality wasn’t there. But technology is finally catching up with us and I think it’s getting better.” Mark graduated from the University of Arizona in 1996 with degrees in both theater and film. While still with the printing company, he and a friend started a film and video production company first called Vital Fluids Inc. and later, Sound and Fury

Productions. One assignment was “Sticky and Jodie Go To the Hospital,” a video for the Tucson Medical Center to prepare children for surgery. The two also produced “Let’s Get Into Trouble, Baby,” a music program first on Tucson’s public access channel and then leased access. “My partner wanted more of the independent Tucson bands, so we ended up with groups like The Yellow Brick Roadkill and The Gomorrah Clowns,” Mark laughs. “But it lasted a couple of years and gave me insight into how the technical stuff worked.” After meeting and marrying his wife, Cher, in Tucson, the couple moved to North Texas so Cher could explore career possibilities in Dallas. Once settling into their new home in Richardson, Cher opted for massage therapy school and Mark picked up freelance work while looking for a fulltime position. Jobs included working as a production assistant for the television show, Walker Texas Ranger. Mark was hired by Collin College to create productions for the school, including training videos, distance learning programs and public service announcements. “All the digital stuff started happening at that point,” Mark states. “I started with tape-to-tape there and realized that wouldn’t work. So we got a Mac computer and I started editing. I actually used the first version of the editing software that I use now, which is up to version 10.” The school then asked Mark to teach a digital video class, one he continued teaching for 17 years, until this year. Mark also taught the history of filmmaking for the college’s theater department for several years. With a growing family, he found that freelance work and a part-time teaching position were not enough. Spotting a job posting for an audiovisual technician with the City of Allen, Mark applied and was hired in 2000. The Kaufmanns moved to Allen shortly after that. At the time, the Allen City Council met in what many know as the “old library” on Century Parkway, adjacent to City Hall. He recalls, “Comcast installed cameras, but they never

worked right, so the first few weeks, all I was doing was staring at a VHS camcorder and a tripod with only two good legs—that’s all they had.” Then Mark learned that the equipment ordered for his new department was analog rather than digital. He shakes his head, “Here I was with all this digital background so I knew this was going to be a hurdle…. I took this huge leap backwards because of the antiquated equipment I was working with—even though it was brand new. But I fumbled through it and made it work.”` Prioritizing his needs, Mark requested and received a Macintosh computer to simplify the editing process. Over the years, he gradually upgraded equipment. When the current Allen City Hall was completed, ACTV was located behind the city council chambers. Today, ACTV has three edit work­ stations and five high-definition cameras, along with sundry equipment considered standard for most studios, like a 15-foot crane, a slider to attach the camera when movement is needed and a drone for aerial shots. “They are all state-of-the-art and we upgrade every couple of years,” Mark notes. “We have just enough to work with, and because of the state of technology today, we are able to work with more inexpensive equipment.” At the beginning, funding for the station came from the city’s general fund. “That’s why I was struggling at first—I was sharing it between Parks and Rec, the Fire Department, Police Department…. We were kind of low on the totem pole,” Mark recalls. “Then we decided we could get a PEG [Public, Education and Government] fee; it would go into a specialized fund just for our equipment…that was managed by the city. The cable company would get the fee from the subscriber and then cut us a check quarterly. Instead of the general fund, we had something that we could draw from.” A few years ago, this funding switched to a franchising system managed by the state. “That gives us one percent of total revenues, so we get more,” Mark notes. Some of these funds were used to Allen Image | March 2015

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Mark with Pentatonix

Scott Evans, Ashley Kamrath and Mark

Craig Erickson, Mark and Burton Gilliam

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install a video system at the Allen Public Library to record programs in the auditorium. Originally “Allen Library Presents,” these shows are now called “On Stage.” Plans are now underway to upgrade this system for real-time broadcast capability from the library. One of Mark’s early tasks was to decide what the city needed to air on its cable access channel, in addition to city council meetings and public announcements, in order to draw viewers. A survey was distributed to Allen cable television subscribers asking what they wanted to see. To Mark’s surprise, animals topped their list, followed by the mayor, city history and then children’s programming. So, the first non-government production for Allen was “In the Dog House,” a monthly magazine-type show where we talk about ordinances and adoptable pets. Next came “Ask the Mayor” with live event and film producer JP Gregoriew interviewing Mayor Steve Terrell on current topics of interest to citizens. Although, by this time, the city had upgraded cameras, Mark still had only one to work with rather than the standard three-camera operation used in most studios for interview programs. How do you shoot an interview with one camera, yet still make it interesting to watch? “We had to shoot everything three times,” Mark replies. “We’d have a wide shot and then we’d have a medium shot of JP just asking questions and then a shot of the mayor answering the questions. The video-magazine format Access Allen was then created and both “In the Dog House” and “Ask the Mayor” became a part of that cable program. Next in the planning queue, was the history series dubbed “Tales of Allen.” “I worked with Tom Keener [Allen Public Library’s Cultural Arts Manager] to produce those,” Mark points out. “The best we ever did of those was probably the one on the Sam Bass train robbery because it included a re-enactment. We worked with Alan Joyce with all the firearms, all the costuming, everything. He brought in all these people and we shot it at Fair Park at night.” At that time the Museum of the American Railroad was at Dallas’s Fair Park and the location proved an ideal film site because it housed trains from the period. Storybook Ranch in McKinney was used to shoot the show’s bar scene. Other topics in the popular history series include St. Mary’s Baptist Church, the stone dam, the interurban and the early telephone company. For the telephone video, the crew went down to the now defunct Southwestern Bell Telephone Museum in Dallas, as well as the home of one of the museum’s curators and a telephone equipment collector himself. Tom Keener points out that this video is particularly significant because everyone who was interviewed has either since passed away or is no longer available as a resource. Under Mark’s guidance, ACTV started taking top honors from a number of prestigious organizations and competitions including the AEGIS Awards, both Texas and National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Programming Awards, Texas Crime Prevention Association, Access Beacon Awards and Telly Awards. In 2006, ACTV earned its first regional Emmy Award from the Lone Star Emmy Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its video “In Memory of…” that later expanded into several more productions to warn students of the dangers of drinking and driving, or otherwise being distracted, while behind the wheel of a car. Aimed at ninth graders, this program relied on a number of community services and volunteers, including Allen


High School theater students, Allen Police and Fire Department and the late Rev. Dale Gregoriew. As a father, Mark recognized the value of children’s programs and was anxious to create quality shows younger viewers would enjoy. He approached Dallas performer David Chicken (aka David McMahon) and the two brainstormed about potential productions. Their first video, in addition to David Chicken and a host of local kids, included Frankenstein, Abraham Lincoln and Rosa Parks. Mark recalls, “I said I need something that relates to city stuff and he said he had a song that would be perfect— ‘Book a Trip.’ Instead of booking a flight, you go to the library, get a book and go on a trip.” In 2008, “Book a Trip” earned ACTV its second regional Emmy, this time in the Arts/Entertainment Program/Special category. David also received an Emmy for this production in the Composition category. Mark asked David to record another video for the city—this time on recycling. “Recycle Bin” earned ACTV a number of awards including first and second place spots from both the Texas and National Associations of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. Written by David for ACTV, “Recycle Bin” also caught the attention of Keep America Beautiful, who then asked him to perform it at their national conference. David Chicken has since starred in two other videos for ACTV—“Play” shares the benefits of parks and recreation and “Cookie Time” promotes healthy eating along with an occasional cookie treat. Mark’s daughter, Sedona, partici­ pated in the earlier David Chicken productions, and son Lance can be found in all of them. “Both my kids help more behind the camera lately,” Mark points out. “Sedona helped with the Flula ‘Rec X’ and ‘Garage Zombie’ project and Lance was a grip on some David Chicken shoots.” As viewing habits changed, so did the programming and videos on ACTV. By this time, Scott Evans had been hired to work under Mark as a television producer.

Mark opted to replace Access Allen with shorter programming. One popular show was “The Dilly-O,” hosted by Marci Moon. “Marci had a bubbly personality and it was a tonguein-cheek type show about what was going on in and around Allen,” Mark explains. “Scott wrote it every week and Marci would come in to tape it.” “The Dilly-O” earned ACTV two more Emmys in 2009—one for Scott’s writing and another for Public Community Outreach. The fifth regional Emmy was

awarded in 2011 in the Community Service category; the following year’s Emmy was for lighting design. In 2013, Emmys were awarded to Mark as executive director in the public/ current/community affairs category for “The Remembrance Rescue Project” and documentary (cultural) for “Lap Ngo—World Painter.” The “Remembrance Rescue Project” tells of Rescue Engine 4, destroyed during 9-11 in New York City and restored by firefighters, which is now used to explain the story

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Emily Reppart, Flula Borg, Mark Kaufmann and Scott Evans of what happened that day to younger generations who were not born yet or were too young to remember. “Lap Ngo—World Painter” shares the amazing tale of classically-trained artist Lap Ngo, whose work reflects his own life adventures living in North Vietnam, Laos, Paris and various counties in Africa before moving to Allen. Eager to support up-and-coming video students, Mark opted to make the Lap Ngo documentary a collaborative project with Andre Costa, then one of his students at Collin College. “He went full force into it,” Mark recalls. “Andre did all the questions and answers and we set up the lighting and recorded it.” Andre then did the initial edit and Mark followed up with a fine-tune edit and professional narration. Although eight Emmys is

impressive enough, ACTV has been nominated for over 20. “Obviously we’re not making the programs to win awards,” Mark stresses, “But they do help us understand where we are at.” To meet growing demands, last year Mark brought on a second fulltime video producer, Tim Johnston, with the primary assignment of creating a new show. In October of 2014, his “Take 5,” featuring five happenings around Allen, first aired. Scott Evans currently produces “On the Go” that Mark describes as “tongue-in-cheek humor and fast paced.” Another upcoming program covers sustainable landscaping. And of course, city news and meetings continue to be a mainstay on the station. There are now multiple means to access ACTV. Today viewers can also watch a live stream or view programs on demand at www.AllenTV.org. The

David Chicken (aka David McMahon), Mark and his son Lance t

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station’s You Tube channel is at www.youtube.com/AllenCityTV. On television, ACTV can be found on Time Warner channel 16, Verizon FiOs channel 15, Grande Cable channel 15 and AT&T U-verse channel 99. The You Tube channel, established in 2008, now has approximately 2,000 subscribers and well over 2,000,000 views, with the most watched being interviews with performers in town for the Allen USA Celebration. Viewers also follow You Tube comedy celebrity Flula Borg, popular with Dallas Mavericks’ fans because of his song about Dirk Nowitzki. Flula has done a tour of The Edge Skate Park and Visitor Center for ACTV’s Parks and Recreation videos “Rec X” and shared a unique account of Allen’s history. Mark relishes using local celebrities in the city videos, including actors Craig Erickson, host of the “Tales of Allen” series, and Burton Gilliam, featured in the some of the “Tales of Allen” programs and caught doing the Harlem Shake at the Allen Senior Recreation Center. He also takes pride in featuring others who have since moved up in the film industry. One-time Collin County Community College theater student Andy Bean acted in “Single Stream Recycling—the Blind Date,” a parody on dating programs that also explains how the town’s poly blue recycling carts work. Today he is cast in the television series Power and in the notyet-released thriller Find What You Love and Let it Kill You. Mark has also used the talents of local voice-over artist Troy Baker, whose vocal skills have now been used for a number of cinematic and video game heroes and villains. Some of his recent television productions include Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and the upcoming Transformers: Robots in Disguise. “I love working here,” Mark concludes. “There is something new every day for me. It is something I look forward to and I have a body of work to reflect on.” These creations are something all our residents can look forward to and reflect on. v Peggy Helmick-Richardson is a freelance writer.


B U S I N E S S

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business seen by Nicole BYWATER

Kwik Kar of Allen

Watters Creek Baptist Church

LSDG Roofing

Many people think of Kwik Kar of Allen only when they need an oil change. “And while we are great for oil changes, this shop can really do so much more,” explains Tim Kaiser, owner of Kwik Kar of Allen. “Our experienced mechanics are all ASE-certified to complete repairs, state inspections and scheduled maintenance that meets or exceeds manufacturer’s standards.” In addition, all work includes a one-year warranty so customers can rest easy knowing that their vehicle will be taken care of just as if it were one of the staff’s own. “We take a lot of pride in treating customers like family,” Tim says. “The best thing you can do to extend the life of your vehicle is to take care of maintenance and any small issues, so that these don’t turn into large, costly repairs down the road.” Kwik Kar’s Allen location opened in 1993 and includes six full-size bays so services can be performed quickly and conveniently. No appointments are needed and the shop’s updated waiting room includes free Wi-Fi, as well as gourmet coffee, magazines, children’s books and a television. The shop is environmentally responsible and recycles all the oil and filters they use. They also accept oil for recycling from people who choose to do their own oil changes—eliminating the opportunity for that oil to be disposed of improperly. Kwik Kar is located at 400 W. McDermott Drive, near Central Expressway, in Allen. For more information, visit allenkwikkar.com or call 972.396.1022.

“Watters Creek Baptist Church is a passionate congregation with a vision to impact our community for the cause of Christ,” says Senior Pastor, Dr. Skip Pilgrim. “We are seeking to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the gospel and promoting spiritual growth through solid biblical teaching that is relevant for today’s world.” Dr. Pilgrim and his wife, Donna, have been serving in fulltime ministry since 1983. They have been married for 36 years and have five children and eight grandchildren. Along with serving as Senior Pastor, Dr. Pilgrim also holds the offices of Inmate Programs Coordinator and Chaplain for the Collin County Sheriff’s Office. “My family and I truly have a passion to reach our community as a whole,” Dr. Pilgrim says. “It’s wonderful to be able to help people through educational and religious rehabilitation programs—as well as offer guidance and biblical counseling through the church. Watters Creek Baptist offers a unique family atmosphere. The Pilgrim’s son, Matt, serves as youth director and audio-video guru. Their daughter, Candace DeLuna, is the church’s children’s director, and daughter Chelsea Pilgrim is a singer/songwriter, music teacher and worship leader at the church. Members meet on Sundays in small group fellowships for Bible study and worship. The church also offers a youth program, called Kidz 4 Christ as well as a teen ministry. Watters Creek Baptist Church is located at 8 Prestige Circle, Suite 108 in Allen. For more information, visit www.watterscreekchurch.com or call 214.534.9206

LSDG Roofing is proud to have over 60 years of combined experience in the roofing and construction field. The locally owned company offers a comprehensive suite of services including the installation of new roofs, roof repairs and re-roofing services for both residential and commercial projects. “Regardless of the type, size or scope of the job, LSDG can handle all the details—from a certified roofing inspection to completion and cleanup of the premises,” says owner Bill Mitchell. “Not only are we accredited, licensed and bonded roofers; we’re also general contractors so we can handle all of our clients’ interior and exterior construction needs.” LSDG offers no-cost evaluations and inspections to provide customers with the best costeffective methods for their roofing needs. “Not all roofs need to be replaced,” Bill advises. “But that doesn’t mean someone should wait until the last minute to repair a problem, no matter how minor it may seem. The longer you wait to replace your roof, the larger the problem can get with time—and the more money you will end up spending in the long run. Plus you could be putting your home at risk.” Getting a new roof shouldn’t be intimidating or confusing. The trained professionals at LSDG will walk their customers through the entire process, including working with insurance adjusters as needed, and make sure the job is done correctly. For more information or to schedule a roofing evaluation, call 469.450.6351 or visit www. lsdgroofing.com.

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Allen Image March 2015  
Allen Image March 2015  
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