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PAID Allen, TX Permit 178

At Palmer Family Law Group PLLC, they believe that divorce doesn’t have to be so hard. “What we try to do is get people through a divorce in the healthiest way possible so that everyone can move on to the next chapter in their lives, in the best way possible,” says Dana, creator of the Soft Divorce® brand. “We don’t define success by the other party’s failure. Instead, our goal is for our client, their children, and even their soon-to-be-ex-spouse, to be as healthy as possible after the divorce.”

A better way to divorce

Dana C. Palmer

It’s a concept that Dana created after focusing his law firm in McKinney on family law in 2011. “I opened the firm in 2006, practicing a wide variety of cases. I soon realized that family law cases provided me with the biggest opportunity to help people and that’s when I decided to narrow my focus,” Dana says. Quickly, he says,

he saw that when divorce is approached as a battle, with each spouse trying to extract as much money as possible from the other, then no one ‘wins.’ “I’m the type of person who is always looking for a better way to do something—and when I find that better way, I feel compelled to share it with others,” Dana explains. “That’s why I’m now sharing the Soft Divorce® program worldwide.” Soft Divorce® is a concept and framework of the best practices in family law and divorce procedures that aim to keep divorces civil, family-oriented, healthy and as painfree and stress-free as possible. “I believe in Soft Divorce® because it’s better than a ‘hard divorce.’” Dana says. “At the end of the day, former spouses will always be parents together and they need to have the best possible relationship with one another, as well as with their kids. A Soft Divorce® allows for that.”

Happier, healthier results Of course, the firm’s approach doesn’t mean that they’ll simply “lie down” and take whatever the other party’s attorney is offering. “There are times that we have to, and we do, ‘play hard-ball,’” Dana says. “We go into court knowing that we’ve taken the high road, but we’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the healthy result we’re after.” When prospective clients first hear about the firm’s Soft Divorce brand, Dana says, they’re often relieved to discover that there’s a healthier way to go through the divorce process. “You always see on TV and hear about divorces where people end up hating each other and losing so much,” he says. “We show people a different and better way.” For more information, please call or visit our website.


r. Allen Gandy is a respected, boardcertified orthodontist who has been in practice since 2003. He is one of relatively few orthodontists in Texas offering in-office i-CAT 3-D imaging as a routine diagnostic tool for individualized treatment planning. This cutting edge 3-D treatment allows for more accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. “There’s a significant difference in the amount of information that we obtain from traditional 2-D x-rays compared to this advanced 3-D technology,” explains Dr. Gandy. “3-D imaging helps eliminate guesswork in many orthodontic situations. I can evaluate my patients’ growth and dental development accurately. “

The most advanced technology Dr. Gandy combines his expertise with sophisticated technology to achieve excellent orthodontic results. “We want to present many options to our patients and to provide them with the type of treatment they are looking for,” says Dr. Gandy. “If a patient does not want to be in braces for a long time, we offer treatment modalities that can get us to the finish line faster. If they wish for the braces not to show, we can utilize esthetic toothcolored braces or customized lingual braces, placed on the inside of the teeth (Incognito® System), or Invisalign® treatment. Our goal is to help our patients make an educated decision and to provide them with the best orthodontic treatment possible.”

ALLEN/FAIRVIEW 431 Stacy Road, Suite 109


The DAMON® Braces system is a state-ofthe-art, clinically proven method of treatment, which uses passive, self-ligating (tie-less) brackets that hold the wire with a sliding mechanism instead of traditional elastic rings. The wires slide freely through the slots with minimum friction, while the shape memory of the wire guides the movement of the teeth without tightening. In addition to the efficient DAMON® Braces system, Gandy Orthdontics offers Invisalign® treatment, Incognito® lingual braces and SURESMILE® system of customized orthodontic wires.

A great family atmosphere “Our offices are not only state-of-the-art, but they’re also warm and caring places to be, for both children and adults,” comments Dr. Gandy. “Our friendly and dedicated team members are great at what they do. We have a fantastic team of professionals taking care of our patients.” The best thing about his job, Dr. Gandy says, is giving his patients a beautiful smile. “It’s very rewarding to see the results of my work. Orthodontics can really change peoples’ lives—from giving them greater confidence in their smile to improving the function of their bite. There are people who come to me and just don’t smile, but afterwards… they just can’t stop smiling.”


February 2014

Vol. 24, Issue 2

cover story 50 The U.S. Navy Band and AHS graduate coming to Allen

Allen High School graduate, Jason Ayoub, played French horn in the Allen High School Band. In 2005, he joined the United States Navy Band and now plays with the band at events and functions around the nation. He is looking forward to the group’s upcoming concert in Allen. by Peggy Helmick-Richardson


feature 22 Olson’s W’Otter Boys

Brody Ferguson and William Hogg decided to do something to help the less fortunate and started selling water and using their proceeds to support Water Aid. They have now funded a new well in Madagascar. by Deborah Dove

special sections 24 kids korner

Kids in the kitchen: Whipping up sweet treats by Deborah Dove


32 pet page Roman

38 business seen The Law Offices of Carolyn Tanck Northcutt PrimeLending—Allen Doody Calls by Nicole Bywater

40 calendar

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58 people seen

For a chance to win a $50 dining card

Fighting for Allen’s most precious assets… its families.


he Law Office of Natalie Gregg moved from Dallas to Allen in 2009 when the firm’s

managing partner brought her own family to this community.

“My husband and I are passionate about providing

our children with the best opportunities to learn and to

appreciate the challenges faced by families in

transition. My goal is not just to represent my clients in court, but to guide them through the complex emotional and financial issues associated with family law.”

Natalie is supported by a team that is exclusively

grow,” says Natalie Gregg.” Allen stood out as a place

focused on the practice of family law. This team

also helping others who shared our values.”

Matthew R. Davis, as well as paralegal Hope

where we could build the future of our family while

The move turned out to be a perfect fit for both

the family and the firm. For the past two years, Natalie has been rated among the top 2.5% of

practicing attorneys as a “Rising Star” in Texas Super Lawyers. She has also been recognized by Huffington Post Divorce and Avvo.

“I am grateful for the trust that my clients place

in my firm. As a working mother, I particularly

includes fellow attorneys Melissa W. Cason and

Morgan. All attorneys are licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

“Allen is the home of my family and my firm,”

says Natalie. “ I want to help my neighbors who are

restructuring their families so that they can preserve their dignity while protecting the future of their children.”

contents departments civic forum 10


The City of Allen continues its awardwinning streak


Lone Star Conference championship basketball by Jeff Mues


Sam Bass Day honors Allen’s H&TC Railroad history by Tom Keener


Allen Depot Coffeehouse

February Films


Carrie McCormick

advertising sales Sue Hardesty Kris Jones

contributing writers Nicole Bywater Dave Campbell Vicki Deerman Deborah Dove Holly Harvey Tom Keener Jeff Mues


Ponder your pond

Dawn Bluemel Oldfield


A Hard Night’s Day

Wanda King Blues Band


Raising funds to impact education by Vicki Deerman


Holly Harvey


Allen Eagles win state football title

gardening 34

The simplicity of succulents by Dawn Bluemel Oldfield

beauty/fashion 64

Peggy Helmick-Richardson Keith Taylor Kathleen Vaught

cover photo Ian Halperin

From athletics to academics

by Keith Taylor

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office administrator

by Tom Keener



Barbara Peavy

Allen CERT continues to grow by Dave Campbell



by Kathleen Vaught



Allen Image

Glamorize your eyes and nails by Nicole Bywater

Allen Image © 2014 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


City of Allen

continues its award-winning streak In the last year alone, awards of recognition for the City of Allen ranged from keeping our city beautiful to excellence in parks, finance and planning, as well as more EMMYs for ACTV.

by Kathleen Vaught Gold Medal is the most prestigious Parks and Recreation Association When you get a chance, stop by the award in the industry. At the state Gold Medal Award for Excellence. rotunda in Allen City Hall where you level, the department claimed two Recognizing the efforts of the entire can find an original Amanda Dunbar awards from the Texas Recreation and department—level of service provided painting of the historic Allen stone dam, Parks Society (TRAPS). Allen Senior to residents, vision and strength of portraits of all previous mayors and Recreation Center employee Tom Cato programs, offerings and personnel trophy cases full of awards won by won Part Time Employee of the Year throughout the department—NRPA’s various city departments. In 2012, Allen won first place for the prestigious Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) Governor ’s Community Achievement Awards (GCAA). This year, we were again recognized for sustained excellence. In addition, many local volunteers and educators were honored for their efforts to keep our city beautiful: Randy Boys, KTB Volunteer of the Year; Laurie Merrick, KTB Sadie Ray Graff Middle School Educator of the Year; and Stacy Gonzales, STAR Volunteer of the Year. Allen also was recognized with the Greater Dallas Fort Worth Recycling Alliance Outstanding Sust ai n a bi l i t y P ro g r a m Leadership Award for Fire Station No. 5. The Parks and Recreation L to R: Scott Evans, ACTV Video Producer, Ashley Kamrath, ACTV On-Air Personality and Mark Department was one of only Kaufmann, ACTV Executive Producer. four finalists for the National

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and the center’s Read to Reed program, in which they organize volunteers to read to students at Reed Elementary, won the prestigious Excellence in Programming Award. Not to be left out, the Allen Community Ice Rink received Gold Status by USA Hockey, the highest status awarded by the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States. For the fourteenth consecutive year, the finance department received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Award for fiscal year 2013 and the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The National Procurement Institute also recognized the purchasing division with the Achievement for Excellence in Procurement Award 2013 for the thirteenth consecutive year. For the ninth time, the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association awarded the City of Allen the Certificate of Achievement for Planning Excellence. This award is given annually to recognize the commitment to professional planning by city administration, elected and appointed officials and exemplary professional standards demonstrated by the planning staff. Only 23 other cities in Texas have received this honor and this is the ninth year the City of Allen has received this recognition. Allen City Television continued its award winning streak by adding two more Lone Star EMMY® Awards to the already full trophy case. The Remembrance Rescue Project feature and the documentary about resident Lap Ngo: World Painter both won the Lone Star EMMY® Award for Excellence in Public/Current/Community Affairs division. This makes 20 EMMY® nominations and nine Emmy wins for ACTV since 2006, including a 2011 EMMY® for Overall Excellence in Community Service. The Lone Star EMMY® represents the most experienced and talented television

professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from all of Texas’ 19 television markets. In addition, ACTV was recognized by the National Association of Telecommunication Officers and Advisors (NATOA) for ten program­ ming excellence awards including first place for Overall Excellence in Programming and twelve awards from the state chapter TATOA. ACTV can be watched on Time Warner channel 16, AT&T Uverse

channel 99, Verizon FiOS channel 37 or with live streaming or video on demand at Or visit and subscribe to ACTV’s You Tube channel Many of these awards, and others that have been achieved throughout the years, are on display during regular business hours at Allen City Hall, 305 Century Parkway. Kathleen Vaught is the senior marketing specialist for the City of Allen.

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Lone Star Conference championship basketball by Jeff Mues Though it may be freezing outside, college basketball is starting to heat up! In just a couple of months, everyone will be filling out their brackets and cheering their favorite schools on to a successful tournament run. In Allen, college basketball fever has caught on early with planning well underway for the Lone Star Conference (LSC) Championship Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament. This event returns to Allen Event Center March 5-8, spanning four days of NCAA basketball competition with a variety of other activities and events to engage fans. Returning to Allen, the tourna­ment has emerged as a true fan favorite, resonating within the Allen community and beyond. Each year, an estimated local annual economic impact of more than $500,000 has resulted. One of the premier conferences in NCAA Division II basketball, the Lone Star Conference consists of nine member institutions that compete in 16 conference sports, eight for men and eight for women. Seven of the nine member institutions are based in Texas: Angelo State University in San Angelo, Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, Texas A&M University-Kingsville in Kingsville, Texas Woman’s University

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in Denton and West Texas A&M University in Canyon. The conference extends into Oklahoma as well with Cameron University in Lawton, and stretches to New Mexico with Eastern New Mexico in Portales. Tarleton State, last year’s Lone Star pion, is Conference Tournament cham­ favored by a slim margin in the 2013-14 preseason poll, which reflects the opinions of LSC head coaches, sports information directors and media representatives throughout the region. For the women, Midwestern State is the preseason favorite as they aim to defend last year’s LSC championship title. The Mustangs shared the LSC championship with Abilene Christian and won the tournament title last season. For both the men and women, the Lone Star Conference champion will be the regular season winner determined by league games, while the postseason tournament winner is designated as Lone Star Conference Tournament Champion and earns the conference’s automatic qualification. The top eight (out of nine) teams in the final conference standings will qualify for the women’s postseason champ­ ionship tournament at Allen Event Center, while all eight of the institutions which compete in men’s basketball will qualify. Texas Woman’s University does not field a men’s team.

First round games will be played in four doubleheader sessions consisting of a women’s and men’s same-seeded contest on Wednesday, March 5 and Thursday, March 6. The sessions are set for noon and 6 p.m. each day. The semifinal contests will be played on Friday, March 7 in two doubleheader sessions starting at noon and 6 p.m. The tournament concludes with both championship games in a doubleheader session at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. Additionally, many volunteer and sponsorship opportunities offer a chance to help drive the success of this great community event. Being an official host to student-athletes and coaches, helping to decorate the teams’ hotel and accompanying the players and coaches on prearranged com­ munity appearances and projects are among the many ways to participate from a sponsorship perspective. Volunteers can help out in many areas including serving as media/courtside attendants, ushers, greeters and locker room/back of house security. To learn more, please visit v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator

with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks and Recreation Department.

Allen CERT continues to grow by Dave Campbell

On November 16, the city of Allen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) added 14 additional members at the completion of the 8th annual training session. Each year the cities of Allen and Lucas participate in this joint training exercise consisting of hands-on and classroom training in multiple specific disaster skills, culminating in a realistic (as possible) and thorough catastrophic emergency simulation. The Community Emergency Response Team program is part of a federal government initiative to train citizens to respond and assist at a basic level in the event of a disaster. Basic CERT training consists of 20 hours of training over an eight-week period. CERT members give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims and organize spontaneous volunteers at disaster sites. CERT also educates citizens about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations. Using this training, local members can be deployed to respond and assist in neighborhoods, communities or workplaces following the event of a disaster. In this capacity, these responders take an active role in preparing their communities. The CERT training program is administered by U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Allen CERT is under the auspices of the Allen Fire Rescue. At the end of eight intensive training sessions, which include combinations of classroom lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice, a simulated disaster is staged allowing the students to put their new

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skills into practice. Our approach has been to ‘test’ students under the stress of scenarios that mimic what could be expected from real disasters, such as an overwhelming mass medical emergency. The 2013 Disaster Simulation was organized and executed by CERT Member Robin Frantz and her team. Arranging the simulation activities for the Allen CERT training program for the past several years, Robin and team continue to surpass and outshine themselves in performance and preparation time after time! Many thanks to the generous members who devoted large amounts of their time and expertise: Bill Butt, Chris Diltz, Brian Levasseur, Traci Reavis, Phil Steiman, Jackie Sword, Tracy Ullman and Neal van der Upwich The simulation alone was a major undertaking that involved 30 volunteers from Allen and Lucas CERT

along with five other community members, including an Allen High School Performing Arts student plus 76 victim volunteers. Coordinating this many people is no easy task. It requires vast amounts of planning, organization, coordination and execu­ tion—and don’t forget the clean-up! These simulations, as noted by many an Allen CERT member, provide a necessary refresher for the volunteers, who must be able to react at a moment’s notice, decisively and effectively to the chaotic trauma which immediately follows an unexpected disaster. In order to make scenarios as lifelike as possible, “simulation artists” use their own innate creativity and special high-tech props to challenge the CERT students in a variety of situations. Mock injuries of makeup and moulage ranging from severe lacerations to burns, as well as impaled objects are applied to victim volunteers.

This makes the injuries in the exercise appear very realistic. Vital statistics are also simulated to represent breathing rate, capillary refill and mental status. During the simulation, CERT students must perform triage on the victims to determine the prioritization of treatment necessary, separating them into “immediate”, “delayed”, or “minor” classifications. Once triaged, the victims are extricated from the disaster site to treatment areas that are identified by red (immediate­ life— involving threatening injury due to airway obstruction, excessive bleeding or shock.), yellow (delayed—serious but non-life threatening) and green (minor) tarps where additional medical treat­ ment is provided. Allen training is provided annually with a combination of CERT trainers and professional Allen Fire Rescue personnel. Allen Fire Rescue continues their involvement in the role

of observers and safety officers. This year, Allen provided training to 14 Allen and five Lucas students. To date, the Allen CERT program has trained 108 Allen citizens plus one Mansfield and 13 Lucas citizens. The city of Allen currently has 93

CERT members. The next Allen CERT class will be held in fall 2014. Contact Dave Campbell at allen_tx_cert@ for more information. v Dave Campbell is the Allen CERT Coordinator/Trainer.

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Sam Bass Day 2014 honors Allen’s H&TC Railroad history by Tom Keener

In 1872, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad arrived in Allen, ultimately connecting its rail line from Galveston to Denison and the rest of the country. Arrival of the railroad changed the course of Allen’s history. It was February 22, 1878, when Sam Bass and his gang robbed the train at Allen Station, thereby committing the first successful train robbery in Texas. To commemorate this event as well as learn more about trains and how they impacted our community, join the celebration of Allen Heritage Guild’s fifth annual Railroad History Day. The following events, for everyone in the family, will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, February 22, at the Allen Depot, 100 E. Main Street: • Allen High School drama students will re-enact the Sam Bass Robbery at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. • Page Thomas will offer outdoor blacksmith demonstrations • Learn about train bells and the meaning behind each ring and take the opportunity to ring the Ebenezer Allen steam engine bell. • Have your picture taken with the Sam Bass gang portrait. • Try your hand at transmitting Morse code messages on a telegraph system • A train bingo game will be fun

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• Youngsters can transfer “water” from the water tower to a train • Learn he different flag signals trains used in the 1870s. Students are encouraged to enter the Sam Bass Day Art Contest. The request for this year’s contest is to draw or paint landscape of Allen in the 1870’s. Information can be obtained from the Allen Heritage Guild website Homeschool students can enroll at the Allen Heritage Guild’s website. Entries will be judged on originality and creativity. Each entry must be submitted to the guild website by February 3.

Winners will receive a ribbon and first place winners in each category will receive a monetary award. The categories are grades K-3, 4-6, middle school and high school. Entries will be picked up from each campus that has entries by February 3. Winners will be announced on the Allen Heritage Guild website on February 17. Any questions can be submitted to Anne Gifford, Go to or call 972.727.8985 for more information. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

Snippets Allen Depot Coffeehouse

February Films

The Allen Depot Coffeehouse opens its doors at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 8, at the Train Depot Museum, 102 E. Main Street in Allen. Sponsored by the arts support group Like Minded Friends, under the auspices of the Allen Joseph Carmichael and Hailey Sandoz Heritage Guild. A non-profit organization, The Allen Depot Coffeehouse offers an old-fashioned coffeehouse atmosphere where visitors can listen to folk music by local singer/songwriters and groups while savoring coffee and homemade desserts. A donation of $5 at the door and $1 each for drinks and food are deeply appreciated to help defray expenses.

All films are free and begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Allen Public Library. View the trailers at 6:45 p.m. Call 214.509.4911 for more information.

February 4—The Princess Bride (1987) starring Peter Falk, Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest and Robin Wright. A classic fairy tale, with sword play, giants, an evil prince, a beautiful princess and yes, some kissing (as read by a kindly grandfather).

February 11—Secondhand Lions (2003) starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Kyra Sedgwick. A coming-of-age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas. February 18—Blazing Saddles (1974), veteran actor

Burton Gilliam will introduce this film. Starring Gene Wilder, Burton Gilliam, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman and Burton Gilliam. To ruin a western town, a corrupt political boss appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Celtic fiddler Hailey Sandoz and guitarist Joseph Carmichael will perform. Hailey performed at the premiere Depot Coffeehouse in October 2011, helping launch what has become a popular community event. They will perform a mix of traditional, contemporary and self-composed tunes with influences from Irish, bluegrass, jazz and obscure Indie recordings. Performing both individually and as a team, they have played festivals and shows throughout the U.S. After his stellar performance at the third annual Allen Folk Festival last September at the Allen Public Library, Kevin Vaught returns with an ingenious mix of traditional and new acoustical sounds. A singer/songwriter/guitarist with a fine arts degree from the University of North Texas, Kevin was a founding member of the Deep Ellum Ensemble Theater Company in New York City. Kevin is a production specialist for the Allen Public Library’s Civic Auditorium. For more information call 972.727.6917. v

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Burton Gilliam

February 25—Big Fish (2003), starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney and Jessica Lange. A son tries to learn more about his dying father by reliving stories and myths he told about his life. v


Ponder your pond by Tom Keener

Ponds occur naturally in shallow or low-lying areas, but they can also be artificially created. Learn about the ecology of ponds, their importance as wildlife habitats and how to build your own pond with naturalist Jim Klinger of Jungle Jim’s Wild Encounters at 2 p.m., Saturday, February 15, at the Allen Public Library. Jungle Jim will discuss the typical wildlife found in ponds and feature live animals found in Collin County ponds such as frogs, salamanders, turtles and water snakes. The wildlife found in ponds varies depending on environ­ m ental conditions. Certain species of invertebrates such as the water beetle survive only in shady woodland ponds, while dragonflies thrive in more open ones. Some species need shallow muddy water while others prefer deeper water. Strategies to protect ponds will also be covered. Fertilizers, harsh cleaning agents and pesticides are the first culprits to consider eliminating from your home. Why use poison when soap and water will rid your tomatoes of pests? Klinger will also offer techniques for building your own backyard pond. All that’s needed is a shovel and a few materials and before you know it, you’ll have your own little “great lake” to enjoy. No time or space to create a pond in your own backyard? Allen has a marvelous pond at Suncreek Park, located east of Alma Drive, along the

south side of Rowlett Creek. This pond is one of the older man-made ponds in Allen. Native Allenite Jerry Carpenter recalls excavating the original one in the 1950s as a “farm tank” for livestock. Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Brian Bristow notes, “Decades later the pond has been repurposed as an aesthetic amenity and detention area for storm water runoff and aquatic habitat. An aerator fountain was

installed in 2001 to assist oxygenating the water and thereby enhance the water quality as a resource for sustaining fish which are stocked annually by parks site service staff.” Sponsored by ALLen Reads, this program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214.509.4911. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

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Music at the Allen Public Library by Tom Keener

A Hard Night’s Day

Wanda King Blues Band

Rock with the internationally renowned Beatles tribute band, A Hard Night’s Day, at 7:30 p.m., Friday February 7. The Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 7, 1964, and A Hard Night’s Day will celebrate that historic event exactly a half century later at the library. In addition, Allen Public Library’s Jeff Timbs will offer historical factoids regarding one of the most popular bands of the twentieth century. Sharing the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo for 13 years, A Hard Night’s Day draws from a catalog of over 200 classics; thus, the same show is never repeated. They are not impersonators and do not pretend to look like or be The Beatles, but they do offer outstanding music. Die-hard Beatles fans will appreciate that A Hard Night’s Day has played at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg, and the Cavern Club, as well as recorded in Abbey Road Studios in Studio 2. This makes them a bona fide “tribute” band with clout. Allan Williams, self-pro­ claimed original manager of the Beatles, introduced A Hard Night’s Day in Liverpool’s Town Hall once during Beatles Week and gave them a “9 out of 10″ rating.

Wanda King’s voice resonates with a ferocity that matches her stage presence. The daughter of the late Freddie King, also known as the Texas Cannonball, Wanda accepted the award for her late father at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. In 1993, Texas Governor Ann Richards proclaimed September 3, 1993, as Freddie King Day. The Wanda King Blues Band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 28, as part of the city’s celebration of AfricanAmerican History Month. “I want the Freddie King tribute to showcase a Texas-born success story,” stated Wanda. “The Black History month concert will celebrate the African American-born music genre—the blues.” Learning from the best, Wanda King began singing at an early age. The King family home was filled with music and musicians of the era—Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, B.B. King, Magic Sam, Tyrone Davis, Johnnie Taylor, just to name a few. Wanda’s dreams of a music career came to a grinding halt when her father died suddenly on December 28, 1976. Griefstricken, Wanda focused on her mother who was devastated by her husband’s untimely death and began helping raise her siblings. After going to college, Wanda entered the workforce, but writing poetry and lyrics remained her passion. After gradually re-entering the entertainment business, her band soon jammed with the best. Wanda has opened for Etta James, The Blues Brothers (Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi), David Sanborn, Johnny Winter and many more. Wanda has produced three CDs—From A Blues Point Of View, Songs In The Key Of Blues and Bridges. v

The band frequently opens the summer concert season at the Dallas Arboretum, played at Richardson’s Wildflower Festival in 2010 and has toured the state a number of times. A Hard Night’s Day has standing gigs at Tolberts in Grapevine and the Barley House near SMU. v

Sponsored by Bach to Books, these programs are free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. For more information, call 214.509.4911. Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

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Olson’s W’Otter Boys by Deborah Dove

It all began in late spring of 2012 with Olson Elementary School counselor, Nicole Oliver, who talked to her students about helping the less fortunate. Later, as friends Brody Ferguson (a fourth grader at Olson at the time) and William Hogg (a fifth grader) were jumping on the trampoline together, they decided they wanted to do something to help the people their counselor had talked about. They decided to sell water and chips at their community pool and were stunned when they made $50.

Brody Ferguson and William Hogg

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“We decided we needed to do more,” says Brody. Brody’s mom, Tracy Ferguson, remembers finding the boys searching Craig’s List for a refrigerator on wheels because they were worried that the water they were selling got warm and wasn’t as refreshing. Selling water made the boys realize how important the quality of water is, so they started researching clean water charities to support with the money they raised. The boys were stunned to learn that children as young as ten often had to walk five miles to get water, that every 20 seconds someone dies from a waterrelated illness and that $25 can provide enough water for one person for a lifetime. After extensive research, they chose to support Water Aid because the organization not only provides clean water to people in poor areas, but also provides sanitation, hygiene and the education necessary for them to use and maintain the wells. William and Brody set a goal of $100 and sold more water at their community pool. Brody told his classmates what he and William were doing and the class decided to help by making paper tie-dye art for them to give to their customers. Then one Wednesday night, William talked to Todd Harris, the pastor at First United Methodist Church of Allen where William’s family attended, and told him what he and Brody were doing. “Have you thought about an impact grant?” Pastor Todd asked him, referring to a program sponsored by the church that provides seed money to members with an idea to make a difference in their community. The boys filled out the application for an impact grant and it was approved. William’s mother Jacqueline recalls thinking, “Isn’t that for someone sending 400 backpacks to the Philippines, not two boys selling water?” Then Todd Harris showed Jacqueline a video of boys at a school in Philadelphia raising money for a similar cause who hosted a water walk and she began to see the possibilities. The boys were assigned an impact coach, Melissa Guerro, who walked them through the process, helping them set a fundraising goal of $1000 and establishing a website so people could donate online. The boys then approached their principal, Andrew Benesh, about hosting their own water walk at Olson. Benesh embraced the idea wholeheartedly, although he stresses that the boys did the majority of the work.

“I had to do very little,” he says. “I just opened the door for them to do it.” He adds, “As educators, there are a lot of things we want to help our students with, and being good citizens of the community is one of them. Having two of our own taking this kind of initiative was such a good example.” Working with Olson PE coach Angie Platten, the boys came up with an entire lesson plan and ran “W’Otter Aid Day” (named for Olson’s mascot—an otter) to show their classmates what it’s like for people in poorer countries without easy access to clean water, which they presented during each grade’s PE class one Friday. They filled milk jugs with water for the students to carry around the fields and created relay games where students had to scoop water from a bucket and carry it to another bucket without spilling. William and his mom Jacqueline collected pond water and put it in water bottles to illustrate the quality of water some people have to drink. “We’d bring the kids up and ask them if they’d like a drink,” says William. “It was horrible, with brown bits in it.” Not surprisingly, the visual made a huge impression on the kids. William and Brody became known at their school as “the water boys” and continued raising money for Water Aid. In spring of 2013, the boys set up a table at Olson’s Family Fitness night and handed out brochures and information about donating to Water Aid. The children at Brody’s church, The Harvest, donated two weeks of their offering. Several kids set up lemonade stands during First United Methodist Church’s Change the World weekend

and donated their proceeds to Water Aid. This past summer, William spoke to the kids at his church’s vacation bible school about Water Aid, and the boys were presented with a huge $500 “check” representing the donations collected during VBS. Brody and William were also asked to speak at two Rotary Club meetings, where they fielded tough questions with impressive maturity and raised over $300. To date, the boys have raised over $2200. The boys’ overwhelming success has surprised everyone, even the staff at Water Aid, who couldn’t believe two boys could make such an impact. Water Aid recently did a feature story on the boys, and have sent the boys e-mails thanking them and keeping them apprised of the status of a new well in Madagascar that the money they raised has funded. Perhaps the only ones who haven’t been surprised are the boys themselves. Both have said, at different times and in different ways, “We aren’t done yet.” For the adults in their lives, the boys are an example of how anyone can make a difference, and how one person can cause a ripple that affects the lives of many. “If we let our kids go and give them a chance, they can do such great things,” says Benesh. To contact William and Brody about speaking to your school or organization about Water Aid or helping to organize a Water Walk, e-mail To donate online, visit fundraiser/kidsimpactH2O/wotteraid. v Deborah Dove is a freelance writer from Allen. A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4


kids korner

Kids in the kitchen: Whipping up sweet treats by Deborah Dove Kids love to cook, and there’s no better time to mix up some sweet treats than Valentine’s month. Following are a few kid-approved, hands-on recipes to get your child cooking, as well as a few cooking classes designed just for kids.

Recipes for Kids Mini Homemade Pizzas

1/2 tsp. dried yeast 1-1/4 c. plain flour 1 Tbs. olive oil 1/2 c. warm water Salt Mix all ingredients to form dough. Leave to rest. Add a little flour and knead into a smooth ball (definitely a kid job). Separate into 4 pieces and roll each into a ball. Squash the ball with your hands to create flat (or heart-shaped) pizza bases. Spread a little pizza sauce on each crust and add toppings of your choice. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350º.

Microwave Playdough

2 c. flour 1 c. salt 1 Tbs. oil 2 c. water 1 tsp. cream of tartar Food coloring Beat all ingredients with a whisk. Place in a large microwave safe dish. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Knead into balls when cool.

Banana Pudding in a Bag

1/2 c. low-fat granola 3 med. bananas 1/2 c. applesauce, unsweetened 1/2 c. nonfat vanilla yogurt In a large zip-top plastic bag, add granola. Squeeze air out of bag and seal. Lightly crush granola using a can or the bottom of a measuring cup. Peel bananas. Use your fingers to break them up into the bag of crushed granola. Add applesauce and

yogurt to banana mixture in bag (press out any extra air before sealing bag again). Use your fingers to squish and mash ingredients together until well blended. Chill pudding inside sealed bag in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pink Magic Mousse

3 c. boiling water 1 6 oz. package strawberry Jell-O gelatin 16 oz. Cool Whip topping Add boiling water to Jell-O mix (an adult’s job). Stir two minutes or until completely dissolved. Add Cool Whip. Stir with whisk until well blended. Pour into glasses or clear plastic cups and refrigerate eight hours or overnight.

Layered Yogurt Parfaits

2 c. vanilla yogurt 1 c. granola 1 c. of your favorite fruit (blackberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries work well) In two glasses (the fancier the better), layer half a cup of yogurt, a quarter cup of granola and a quarter cup of fruit. Repeat layers. Makes two servings.

Strawberry Popcorn Balls

1/4 c. butter 1 bag (10 oz.) mini marshmallows 12 c. popped popcorn 1 small package strawberry Jell-O Place butter and marshmallows in large microwaveable bowl and place in microwave. Cook for 90 seconds up to 2 minutes, until marshmallows are puffy. Add dry Jell-O and stir. Pour mixture over popcorn. Stir quickly to coat

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well. Spray hands with cooking spray and work quickly, forming into balls.

Homemade Lollipops

Jolly Ranchers Aluminum foil Lollipop sticks Baking spray Preheat oven to 225º. For an easy lollipop, place three jolly ranchers side-by-side on a greased cookie sheet. For a shaped lollipop, wrap foil around a cookie cutter(s) and coat with baking spray. Set the cookie cutter(s) on a greased baking sheet. Place three or more (depending on the size and shape you have made) jolly ranchers inside the cookie cutter. Bake for 5-6 minutes, watching carefully (they will become too thin if you leave them in too long). Remove from the oven. Gently press a lollipop stick halfway through the jolly ranchers, twisting slightly in order to completely mold the candy around the stick. If you are using a cookie cutter, carefully peel away the foil from the candy and then insert the lollipop sticks. Allow to cool completely.

Cooking Classes for Kids Panera Bread’s Baker in Training—3050 S. Central

Expwy., McKinney, 214.504.9393 This program, designed for ages 4-12, gives kids the basics of baking plus a “behind-thescenes” look at Panera. Each child gets their own baking hat and apron before trying their hand at the craft of bread-making by stretching and scoring their

very own French baguette to be baked and brought home. They’ll also decorate their own sugar cookie and get a behind-thescenes tour of the bakery (my daughter’s favorite was the walk in refrigerator). Although free, the program is designed for groups of 10-15, so round up a few friends or your child’s scout troop or playgroup. Classes are an hour and a half and are offered Monday-Friday with start times between 2 and 4:30 p.m. Register by completing the online form found at www.

Central Market—320 Coit Road, Plano, 469.241.8300 Central Market typically offers at least one cooking class for kids per month. In February, prepare a brunch menu together that includes blueberry cornmeal pancakes, hash browns, granola and a bacon and cheddar frittata at the parent/child class offered for ages 6-17 with a parent from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 22. Cost is $70. Register early at www.centralmarket. com/cooking-school as classes fill up quickly. Young Chef’s Academy—9350 Pasadena

Drive, Frisco, 972.335.4449 This cooking school just for kids offers a variety of options for your little chef, from weekly classes for kids as young as three to teenagers, parent/child classes, special event “funshops”, and a kid’s night out one Friday a month. For more information, visit www.


Raising funds to impact

education by Vicki Deerman

For ten years the Foundation for Lovejoy Schools has involved the community in generating funds to enhance education in the Lovejoy ISD. To date, $1,118,000 has been granted to Lovejoy ISD through classroom grants and professional development. Dollars are generated through an annual appeal each fall and a gala and auction in the spring.

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The 8th annual Denim and Diamonds Gala and Auction will be held Saturday, April 5 at Southfork Ranch. The chair for Denim & Diamonds 2014—Past ‘N Present—is Nancy Fisch and the honorary chair is Ann Casey. The Foundation for Lovejoy Schools expects over 650 guests for dinner and music, silent and live

auctions, mechanical bull riding, photo booth and more. We will be entertained by the band Prophets and Outlaws. Donations for the silent and live auctions are currently being sought along with sponsorships for the event. Businesses can also advertise in the auction program. Tickets to the event will go on sale February 24, through the website at

www.foundationforlovejoyschools. org. Contact the foundation’s executive director, Vicki Deerman at 469.742.8043 or for any questions and information on how to donate. How do the dollars the foundation raises enhance education in the Lovejoy school district? Following are a few testimonials:

Tami Parker

“As the debate coach for Lovejoy High School I can’t even begin to tell you what a fabulous tool the laptops and iPads have been to our program. When we first got the laptops and iPads, we had about 10-12 kids that traveled with the team on a regular basis; this year we have around 80 kids enrolled in debate. We have been taking on average 25-35 kids to each debate tournament. “This technology has turned our program around. We are able to have a huge variety and volume of information about each type of debate. What we are able to store on the laptops would be the equivalent to over 100 tubs of information. “I see the kids growing as they use the technology. They are able to problem solve, and to think at a much higher level because the base information is readily available for them to access.”

tutorial). They have also given us back time since we don’t have to grade each quiz by hand.“

Shannon Hoover

“The funding of High Touch High Tech (at Hart Elementary) directly impacted 82 third-grade students and four third-grade teachers. The scientists of High Tough High Tech had a great impact on the students and teachers, as they taught each third-grade class separately—one

scientist for 20-22 students. This allowed each third grade teacher to be actively involved in the lesson and observe her students throughout the scientific learning process. Additionally, the teaching im­­ pacted the third-grade teachers as the lessons that were taught correlated directly with the third-grade standards in science.” v Vicki Deerman is the executive director for the Foundation for Lovejoy Schools.

Pam Ford

“The Convey Clickers have allowed our geometry team to give more formative assessments more often. We can quickly test for understanding by polling the students during a lesson, or we can more formally give them a quiz. “This provides the teachers with immediate feedback for the entire class—was the idea of the lesson understood, do we need to go back and re-teach any concepts—as well as information regarding each student (i.e. Joe didn’t do very well on this quiz so I need to check his progress more often or perhaps assign a A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4


From athletics to academics by Holly Harvey

Cristian Pena From the age of four until high school, Cristian Pena dreamed of nothing but playing baseball. “I would have described myself

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back in high school as a jock,” Pena said. “I was really focused on baseball, training and working out.” Years of fielding balls, swinging

bats and studying the game left the second baseman with an impressive .329 batting average for the Allen High School varsity baseball team and dreams of making it in the major leagues. After graduating from high school, he faced the decision on whether to take the track towards becoming a professional baseball player or pursue his education. He chose to take a break from baseball and concentrate on academics at Collin College. Through Collin College, the high school athlete transformed into a student with a 3.9 GPA who became president of Psi Beta National Honor Society, attended Yale for a six-week m ent program and academic enrich­ was the recipient of the 2013-2014 Joshua Arduengo Engaged Faculty Scholarship. “Collin College turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Pena said. He was sitting in his general psychology class when professor Joshua Arduengo described Psi Beta, an honor society for students interested in psychology and a group for which Arduengo serves as academic advisor. Pena joined Psi Beta and eventually became the president. Later he joined Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students. “I really liked all of the opportunities that the honor societies offered,” Pena said. “There were a lot of great events where I learned how to develop leadership skills and connect with others.” Professor Arduengo said that in the year he has known Pena, he’s been

impressed with his committed involvement with honor societies. “Cristian is really great with communicating and motivating people, which is not always easy to do,” Arduengo said. “He really shows leadership and pushes through to move things forward like setting up numerous events.” Pena made an even greater impact upon Arduengo through his unwavering dedication to education. This year, Arduengo selected Pena to receive the 2013-2014 Joshua Arduengo Engaged Faculty Scholarship. “In my opinion, Cristian is the most deserving of this scholarship,” Arduengo said. “He definitely earned it. He’s become an incredibly wellrounded student through his time at the college.” Through his several semesters of courses, Pena came to relish researching and learning, and he’s made becoming a better student his number one priority. “Collin College really aided in giving me a desire to learn,” Pena said. “I’ve enjoyed all my classes and after joining the student organizations, I started focusing much more on my grades.” Pena said taking rigorous courses at Collin College force him to develop better study habits in order to receive good grades. In Arduengo’s course, he was one of seven students to receive an A grade. “Through the scholarship I received from professor Arduengo, I was able to cut back on my hours working as a waiter and really give my all towards academics,” Pena said. “The $1,000 scholarship greatly helped me pay my tuition and freed me to focus on my studies.” His excellent grades propelled m ent him into an academic enrich­ program at Yale University last summer. He was one of only two community college students out of the 80 students in the program. The intensive six-week program offered rigorous courses such as cellular

biology. The program ended up solidifying Pena’s desire to go into the medical field. “It was easy to think during the program, ‘What am I doing here? Can I really do it?’ At Yale, my life was basically class, homework and sleep.” Pena said. “But after taking two semesters’ worth of biology at Collin College, I received excellent evaluations at Yale.” Now entering his fourth semester at Collin College, Pena will be juggling 18 credit hours of class in addition to all of his activities, which include being a mentor to an 8-year-old boy through Big Brothers Big Sisters. “It’s great when you’re able to share your love of learning with someone else and see them love learning as well,” Pena said. Pena is a doing a lot of learning as a pre-med major with the goal of becoming a doctor. He hopes to gain acceptance to The University of Texas or Cornell University next year with

the ultimate goal of becoming a doctor. Eventually, he wants to work in the public health field assisting Doctors Without Borders. “I’m really becoming a wellrounded student through my studies,” Pena said. “I can’t wait to see what happens next and where I end up next. I may not know exactly what is going to happen, but the possibilities are endless.” Donations can be made to student scholarships year round through the Collin College Foundation website. The Foundation also hosts fundraising events throughout the year, including Stetson and Stiletto, a Lone-Star themed evening, coming up February 22. To donate or learn more about Stetson and Stiletto, visit www.collin. edu/foundation. v Holly Harvey is a public relations associate at Collin College.

Photo: Nick Young, Collin College.

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Allen Eagles win state football title! by Keith Taylor

The Allen Eagles cruised to a third state Class 5A football title and an undefeated season by beating the Pearland Oilers in Cowboys Stadium on December 21. The game set an attendance record for a Texas high school football game with 54,347 watching the Eagles roll to a 63-28 victory. The win marked the Eagles’ second straight state championship and the first time a team has completed a season with a perfect record of 16-0. Head coach and assistant athletic director Tom Westerberg also coached the team to a state championship in 2008 with a 21-14 win over Fort Bend Hightower and again in 2012 by besting Houston Lamar, 35-21. Also, for the second year in a row, the Eagles opened their season with a 39-20 victory over perennial state power Southlake Carroll. After completing district play, the Eagles started the playoff season with a win over Lake Highlands, 63-6. The team then won games against Mesquite Horn, The Woodlands, Spring Westfield and Desoto before the championship game. Only nine schools have won more than one state title in Class 5A since it was created in 1980 by the University Interscholastic League. v Keith Taylor is a public relations specialist for Allen ISD.

Photos by Ian Halperin

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x February 2014


pet page


Roman, a one-year-old Lab/pit bull mix was found wandering the streets of Irving. CCHS took him in and discovered he had been burned pretty badly by some not-so-nice humans. He had chemical burns on his back, which have since healed.

Roman is looking for his new best friend! He loves people, even after his traumatic start in life, and would make an awesome friend for just about anyone! He also loves to play with other dogs, both big and small. He shouldn’t get much larger than about 50 pounds—just the perfect size.

Roman is both crate and house trained, loves long walks, playing with his toys and cuddling by the fire. He is heartworm negative, his vaccinations are up to date and he has been neutered. Do you have room for this lovebug in your home? If so, please complete an application at: adoption-application.html and his foster family will get in touch with you. 3 2 w w w. a l l e n i m a g e . c o m

For MarketPlace Your Health

A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4



The simplicity of succulents by Dawn Bluemel Oldfield neglect and will flourish in beds or containers alike. Succulents come in many shapes, sizes and textures and add an important design element to any garden. Colors range from subtle to bold, with leaves in varied shades of green to brilliant hues in orange, red, burgundy, pink, purple, yellow, black and variegated. Color is important to garden design, but don’t forget texture! Succulent leaves can be needle-like similar to pines, round, ruffled, spiral or spiky like cactus! Gardening fact: All cacti are considered succulents, but not all succulents are cacti! It couldn’t be easier to grow succulents. All these versatile plants need to flourish is adequate light, welldrained soil and occasional watering. Once established these striking plants require very little maintenance. An added bonus is that very few diseases or pests plague succulents. While some succulents have specific care requirements (be sure to check labels), most are easy-togrow perennials that will return year after year. Most Texas tough perennials survive our hot, dry summers by storing water in their roots. Succulents, on the other hand store water in their thick, fleshy leaves and stems. Resist the urge to water too frequently as this can cause plants to rot. Gardening fact: Over-watering causes more problems in plants and lawns than under-watering. Peruse your local gardening center and you’ll find a sweet little plant that will take you on a road-trip down memory lane to your grandma or great-grandma’s house. Hens and chicks is a favorite succulent that is re-gaining popularity because of its drought tolerant, easycare characteristics. Part of the Sempervivum family (which translates to “live forever”), these beloved, old-fashioned plants won’t disappoint. They are super easy to grow and propagate readily. Some cultivars produce “chicks” on stolons (or runners); while others produce chicks lightly attached to the “hen” that easily “In all things in nature pop off the mother there is something of plant and can be the marvelous.” planted in another location. – Aristotle

My first foray into the world of succulents was when I was a little girl and I decided I needed a plant for my bedroom. I carefully tended the pretty Peperomia in its bright white pot that graced my bookcase, faithfully following the growing instructions. I was so proud of my little plant that I decided to enter “Pepper” as I called her, in my local 4-H Fair. We won a ribbon! I don’t recall what place, but it doesn’t matter. Emboldened by my prize, “Pepper” soon had new green friends to share the sunlight with and I’ve been hooked on plants ever since. Succulents rank at the top of the list when it comes to houseplants. They are dependable, adaptable and flourish in the dry, warm air and low-to-bright light conditions found in most homes making them ideal choices for indoors. Some popular succulents used to beautify homes’ living spaces include aloe vera, Christmas cactus, crown of thorns, jade plant, kalanchoe, pony tail palm (yes, pony tail palm is a succulent!) and snake plant, to name a few. Yet, why limit use of succulents inside? Consider adding a few of the 3,000-plus cultivars available to your outdoor landscape this spring! There are many reasons to add easy to grow, drought tolerant succulents to your outdoor landscape. They thrive on

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Ice Plant Sedums are a must for any garden! These lowmaintenance plants are ideal for rock gardens, borders, mounded garden beds, containers and baskets. These little gems will even tuck themselves into gravel or crevices and perform beautifully. Sedum coral carpet features deep green to red foliage with white flowers in early to mid summer and is an ideal ground cover for hot, dry sites. Sedum purple emperor is a stunner with deep pink flowers that arch over dark purple/black leaves from late summer to late fall, while the chartreuse foliage and lemon yellow flowers of lime sedum brightens any border or basket. Another tried and true favorite for North Texas is Sedum autumn joy. I’ve had my autumn joy for more than a decade, often neglected in a worn, weather-beaten pot, it blooms without fail from August to November. A little taller than most common sedums—growing to about 6-8 inches—its long lasting flowers are a deep pink-coppery color and are a butterfly magnet. It is lovely paired with fall grasses and salvia Leucantha Ice plant is proving to be a winner in our recent water woes. There are a number of varieties of ice plant, but purple ice plant is the rising star. This drought tolerant ground cover grows to about 3-inches tall and can spread as much as 3-4 feet across. Slender inch-long leaves are

Hens and chicks covered in beautiful purple daisy-like flowers all summer long, and are a lovely choice for borders and rock gardens. Not all succulents are small. Larger varieties add structure and should be planted at the back of the garden where their tall forms will serve as a focal point. Red yucca has stunning red flowers that arch gracefully over long, stiff, narrow leaves. It thrives in our blistering summers and attracts hummingbirds. The striped leaves of color guard and ivory tower yuccas provide a dramatic accent to the garden, while the rigid, sword like leaves of agave add an eye-catching, sculptural element to pots or beds. Pair larger cultivars with companion plants like daisies, lantana, verbena and autumn sage for a softer, dramatic look. Be bold! Be creative! Be water-wise! Succulents are an impressive addition to any landscape. To learn more about succulents or to find out what varieties will grow in North Texas, ask a trusted nursery professional or visit the Collin County Master Gardener Association’s website at www. or call 972.548.4232 for more information. Dawn Bluemel Oldfield is a freelance writer. A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4




Practically since the beginning of time, women have turned to makeup to emphasize their feminine qualities or create a desired look. Ancient Egyptians some 4,000 years ago produced makeup to darken and adorn their eyes with lead and lead salts, in mixtures that sometimes took a month to concoct. Chinese people began to stain their fingernails with gelatin, beeswax and egg white from around 3000 BCE. And for thousands of years, Native Americans have painted their faces for ceremonial events or battle. Thankfully, makeup trends and technology have come a long way. Today, women have more choices than ever when it comes to enhancing their look through eyelash extensions, permanent makeup and manicured nails. The Lash Lounge, a beauty salon specializing in semipermanent eyelash extension opened last July in the Watters Creek shopping center. And Castle Nail Spa, a full service luxury nail salon opened in March.

A better alternative for nails

The latest innovation in the nail industry is “dipping powder gel,” a safer and healthier alternative to acrylic nails. “Dipping powder is more popular in the northern part of the United States which is where I’m from, so it’s something we’ve been doing for years,” says Tammie McGregor, owner of Castle Nail Spa in Allen. “In Texas, this technique is still pretty new. Also, it’s about 20 times more expensive for the equipment so a lot of places don’t offer this technique yet.”

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your eyes and nails

While not every client who comes to the salon for artificial nails asks for dipping powder nails, Tammie makes sure that her staff always tells people about the option. “I think it’s important to tell people about it because it’s better for them since the process is faster, more lightweight and better for your nails.” In addition, instead of the typical smell that comes with acrylic nails, there is no odor with dipping powder. “There’s no liquid—it’s only a powder mixed with the gel, so it’s better for the client and our staff,” Tammie explains. “There is also less filing and shaping needed so there is less dust being breathed in.” The end result is a thin, more natural looking and more lightweight set of nails. Dipping powder manicures can be done in pink and white, French-style or in a choice of over 150 colors and typically last about two weeks. The color is part of the dipping powder and followed by a clear coat. Clients can also choose from typical acrylic nails or gel nail polish on their own natural nails. The gel nail color provides a high-shine, top gel in a vibrant color that replaces traditional nail polish. “The color becomes part of the nail so it doesn’t chip or come off as easily as regular nail polish does,” Tammie explains. Painted-on designs such as flowers or holiday-related themes also continue to be popular.

The look of mascara

When most people think about eyelash extensions, they often think of sticky strips that you buy at the drugstore and stick on yourself at home. And while those are certainly available—professionally applied, semi-permanent lash extensions take this idea to a whole new level and can make a huge difference in a woman’s overall appearance. “Extensions really do open your eyes up,” says Amy Cline, owner of The Lash Lounge in Allen. “So for people who may think their eyes are aging or have some excess overhang of the lids, we can disguise or mask that. And for those people, it can take five to 10 years off their age.” Other clients just love the freedom that comes with having the “mascara look” without having to actually apply makeup or worrying about it coming off in the pool or at the gym. “Women love that they can wake up and without doing anything, drop their kids at school or go run errands and not look so tired,” Amy says. “Because women put so much energy into our families and friends and other activities we’re involved in, we don’t leave a lot of time for ourselves. Anything we can do to cut down on having to spend that time daily on ourselves is going to help.” Of course, not having to apply mascara does save time, but there is a commitment involved in having the lashes applied. The initial appoint­ment to apply a full set of extensions runs from 2 to 2-1/2 hours, with the tech­ nician carefully adhering individual fibers to your natural lashes. “When the hair sheds, the extension falls out with it,” Amy explains. “Your whole lashline is renewed about every two to three months so we recommend that people come in every two to three weeks for refills to keep their lashes full.” Refill appointments involve the technician going over the extensions

Before and replacing any that have grown out, as well as adding new lashes, and take from 30 minutes to one hour. Clients can choose from different shapes and lash lengths depending on the look they want. “During our initial conversation, I try to get an idea of what they want—do they want to look more natural, just as if they have mascara on? Or are they hoping for

perming or tinting, which The Lash Lounge also offers. Perming involves wrapping the upper lashes upward onto a sticky rod, while tinting is most useful for women that have naturally light brows or lashes or people whose lashes have been lightened by the sun. And of course, in addition to the semi-permanent lashes, clients can also

After something dramatic with sweeping long lashes like Snuffaluffagus. Amy says, “We can achieve either result, and everything in between. And just like women can change their hair cut or color, they can always change their mind and go with a different length or style of extensions.” Some women also choose to forgo extensions and go instead for eyelash

receive high-quality, temporary lashes applied at the Lash Lounge. “These are lash strips or tabs that last from 24 to 48 hours and are nice if you’re going to a big event,” Amy says. “We do a lot of brown and black temporary lashes, but they also come in fun colors or with crystals for a fun look.” v Nicole Bywater is a freelance writer from Allen.

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business seen by Nicole Bywater

The Law Offices of Carolyn Tanck Northcutt

Before becoming an attorney in 2000, Carolyn Northcutt worked as a CPA, giving her a financial background that serves her well in her law practice. “I’m an analytical person and being able to understand and organize finances is a huge advantage in family law,” Carolyn says. “For example, when I go into a mediation, you can be sure I’m going to have a spreadsheet listing all the liabilities and assets, and a proposed division, with documentation to back those numbers up.” It’s also a strength in the other areas of law the firm practices, such as real estate, probate, estate planning and wills; all of which have some sort of financial component to them. Beyond Carolyn’s affinity for finances, her clients appreciate her compassion, as well as her honesty and ability to ‘tell it like it is.’ “I try to stay emotionally objective because that allows me to be the best attorney I can for my client, even when I have to tell them things they may not want to hear,” she explains. “And, of course, while I can’t always make things perfect, I try to make the situation the best it can be.” Carolyn earned her law degree from SMU in Dallas and has four children and ten grandchildren. The Law Firm of Carolyn Tanck Northcutt is located at 100 E. McDermott Drive, Ste. 30 in Allen. For more information, visit or call 972.390.1608. v

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PrimeLending— Allen

Doody Calls

PrimeLending in Allen provides mortgages without obstacles. “We’re able to offer the benefit of a large national bank, but with the customer service and friendly attitude you’d expect from a small hometown office,” says branch manager Terry Fann, who has over 20 years of experience. “We pride ourselves on being honest and upfront with our clients and in getting mortgages closed on time.” Terry and his staff understand how important customer service is, particularly in the mortgage industry. “We know that buying a home is the biggest investment a person will make and we want to help make that process go as smoothly as possible,” he says. “Because the processing is done in-office, there’s a little more control over the timeline and we can stick to the schedule we’ve given to our client.” As a corporation, PrimeLending has grown from a staff of 20 in 1986, to over 2,800 professionals producing more than $13 billion annually. That growth is thanks to one simple principle—don’t treat the customer like a number; treat them like a neighbor. More than 90 percent of the Allen office’s business comes from customer referrals. “It all goes back to being able to deliver what you say you can deliver,” Terry explains. “That’s why people have a good experience with us and why they want to tell others about us.” PrimeLending is located at 825 Market Street, Ste. 260 in Watters Creek. For more information, visit or call 469.277.1889. v

The best thing about the pet waste removal service, Doody Calls, is that it allows people to spend more time doing things that they love and less time on something they’d honestly rather not have to do. “We know people today have busy schedules that don’t leave a lot of extra time,” says Julie Dickens, who owns the DFW franchise of the Doody Calls, with her husband Bill. “I love that our business can alleviate the burden of one less task, so that free time can be better spent. Plus, it’s a great benefit to the environment to make sure pet waste gets properly picked up and disposed of.” The Dickens opened their business in 2007, are bonded and insured and employ a steady, reliable crew. “Our technicians are going into people’s backyards and interacting with their pets, so we always do background checks,” she explains. “They’re all animal lovers and treat our clients’ pets as if they were their own.” Doody Calls offers affordable residential and commercial services, typically on a weekly or bi-monthly schedule. While the majority of their business is dog waste removal, they also can take care of cat litter boxes. “This service is especially popular with pregnant women who have cats, but can’t clean litter boxes because of the health risks,” Julie says. “Our business is designed to make life easier.” For more information or a price quote, visit, email dfw@doodycalls, or call Julie at 817.304.1078. v

For MarketPlace Your Health

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calendar FEBRUARY


Roger & Ella Jo Adams Concerto Competition, 9 am-3 pm, Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Drive. High school age students from Collin County who plays a standard orchestral instrument excluding piano and voice is invited to compete. For further details visit www. Allen High School Home Run Club presents Bingo night, 6 pm doors open, bingo starts at 6:30 pm, Allen High School Cafeteria. Meet the Eagles team, bid on silent auction items, win bingo prizes and door prizes! Great family night! Help support the Allen Eagles baseball program. Adults $10; Students/seniors $5. For information, contact djhans@att. net or 972-816-6343.


Allen’s Community Theatre presents Barefoot in the Park directed by Joy Millard. Performance dates: February 6-9, 13-16 & 20-23. All Thursday, Friday, Saturday performances are at 8 pm; Sunday matinees at 3 pm. Performances will be at our new permanent location 1206 E. Main Street, #105, Allen. For reservations visit or purchase tickets in advance at


Collin County Home and Garden Show, Fri., 2-7 pm, Sat., 10 am-7 pm & Sun., 11 am-5 pm, Allen Event Center. Featuring gardens, landscapes & water

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features, Home Improvement Alley, pools, spas, outdoor living & hardscapes, interior design & home accessories, live plant & tree sales, the latest trends in kitchens and baths, DIY seminars, a Kid’s Zone and much more. Also, meet Jeff Devlin, host of HGTV’s Spice Up My Kitchen and DIY Network’s I Hate My Bath and Good, Better, Best. For details, visit www.


Special Angels Among Us Benefit Auction & Dinner, 6-11 pm, Courtyard by Marriott, 210 E. Stacy Road, Allen. Dinner, live and silent auction. This is the primary fundraising event for the Special Olympics program. For more information, email


United States Navy Concert Band presents a free concert at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of Allen High School, 300 Rivercrest Blvd. Free tickets can be ordered at


Allen Heritage Guild’s fifth annual Railroad History Day, 11 am-3 pm, Allen Depot, 100 E. Main Street. Allen High School drama students will re-enact the Sam Bass Robbery at 12:30 & 1:30 pm. Page Thomas will offer outdoor blacksmith demonstrations with his forge. You can also learn about train bells, have your picture taken with the Sam Bass gang portrait, try your hand at transmitting Morse code messages and more. For more info:

CITY OF ALLEN Allen Event Center

Tickets on sale now through Ticketmaster (www., charge by phone at 800.745.3000 or at the Allen Event Center box office. For more information, visit 1 Allen Americans vs. Wichita Thunder 7-9 5th Annual Collin County Home and Garden Show 13 Allen Americans Hockey vs. Arizona Sundogs 14 Allen Americans Hockey vs. Missouri Mavericks 16 Dallas Sidekicks vs. Harrisburg Heat 23 Allen Americans vs. Quad City Mallards 28 Allen Americans Hockey vs. Arizona Sundogs 1


Parks and Recreation Events

Saturday Night Rec n Roll, Joe Farmer Rec Center. Fun, safe social program for students in 3rd through 6th grade. Gym games, dancing, music, dodge ball, pool, table tennis, theme nights, contests and prizes. Supervision provided, concessions available. An identification card (annual $5 fee) is required to participate. Walk up admission available for $10 at the door. The Duck Derby, Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium. Race your duck against the best Allen has to offer at one of the most popular and unique events offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. The Duck Derby will take place in the lazy river of the Natatorium where we will determine the


fastest duck and also the best decorated duck in the pool! Purchase your “Racing Duck” from the Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium and add your personal touch! Submit your duck by Friday, February 7. SNAP Dance, 7-10 pm, Recreation Hall. Special needs adapted program! Dances feature live music, a fun and creative theme, snacks and photo. Email tharben@ or call 214.509.4707. Senior Recreation Center Open House. Members are invited to bring a guest to ASRC for a complimentary pancake breakfast. After breakfast, meet the staff, advisory council and other members. Learn about the center’s offerings, tour the building and even register as a new member. Indulge in a morning of fun, food and prizes. Registration required by members who are bringing a guest.

ALLEN PUBLIC LIBRARY Children’s Programs Story times begin January 20 Baby & Me—For pre-walkers with an adult Thurs., 10:15 am Fun Ones—For 1 year-olds with an adult Mon. & Tues., 10:15 am, Wed., 10 am Family Together Time—For children 2-6 years and their family Mon., Tues. & Thurs., 11:15 am, Wed., 10:45 am All By Myself—For 4 & 5 year-olds ready to attend independently, Wed., 11:30 am. Pajama Story Time—For children 2-6 years and their family, Tues., 6:30 pm, Thurs., 7 pm.


Adult Winter Reading: Groundbreaking Reads, Jan. 6-Mar. 2. What are you going to do to break new ground this year? Sign up for Allen Public Library’s first annual Adult Winter Reading club! Sign up in person or online! All it takes is 5 hours of reading for a prize entry! Contact the library at 214-5094905 for more information. 4 DIY@APL—Heart Your Valentine, 1:30-3 pm, 2nd floor Program Room. Create some fun paper heart crafts to share with your special Valentine. Register online or call 214.509.4905 or 214.509.4913. Free. Ages 16+ please. 5 Noontime Pageturners, noon, 2nd floor program room. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Bring a lunch and a friend and join us for a lively discussion! Free. No registration. 12 Twisted Threads—A Fiber Craft Circle, 6:30 pm, 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 any other type of craft done with thread or yarn! All skill levels are welcome! So, bring your latest project and work on it in the company of other fiber crafters. 13 Discover a Healthier You—Strength/ Weight Training at Home, Traci Ramsey, Professor of Physical Education, Collin College, 12 pm, 2nd floor program room. Traci Ramsey will share strength-building exercises you can do at home. Comfortable

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clothes and shoes are recommended. No experience necessary. 18+. Registration requested; Walk-ins welcome as space permits. For more information, contact Debbie Vavra, 214509-4913 Ladies Night Out Book Club, 7 pm. join us in a discussion of Big Fish by Daniel Wallace. Registration req. 214.509.4905

Connemara Conservancy




Connemara Meadow Preserve 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, with Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society. All ages welcome. We recommend wearing long pants, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen and insect repellent. Winter Tree Walk, 10 am, Master Naturalist Jim Varnum leads a walk through the Pecan Grove to point out and teach you how to identify trees in winter before leaves appear. All ages welcome. For more info: www.connemaraconservancy. org. 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.


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: 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. Baylor Health Care System offers support groups, medical information and events. For more info: Kids Helping Kids, bring new or gently-used toys to Kids Pediatric Dentistry, donate to kids in the area. Receive chance to win prize. For more info: 972.727.0011 or www. Heart Link Women’s Networking group, women only business networking. Monthly meetings—days & locations vary. For more info: www.75013.theheartlinknetwork. com. 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 MOMS Club McKinney Central, support group for stay-at-home moms. Play groups, daytime activities, Mom’s Night Out, parties, babysitting co-op, etc. Monthly bus. meeting. For more info: Allen Early Childhood PTA, support for parents & caregivers of preschoolers. Each month has fun activities. Play groups, park days,

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lunch with friends, field trips, Mom’s Night Out, Dads & Kids and other events. Come play with us. For more info: or information@ Texas Health Presbyterian, a variety of events. For more info: Plano Bicycle Association, club rides, social activities, monthly meetings, newsletters. For more info: Chris Mathews, 972.964.2869 or Urban Explorers, laid back, fun, diverse social group with meetups throughout Dallas area. Something for everyone! For more info: Every Monday-Friday The Shores AA Group, noon, Raceway Profesional Building, 200 W. Boyd, Suite C (Adjacent to Dayrise Recovery), Allen. Open AA discussion group. Everyone welcome. For more info: 469.854.9593. Divorce Care, 13-week courses—biblical teaching for recovering from divorce. For more info: Kim Tedford: 214.544.8050 ext. 109, or www. 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.

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: Allen Symphony Chorus rehearsals, 7-9 pm, choir room at First UMC. For more info: Henry@ Ericsson Village Toastmasters Club, 121 pm, Ericsson, 6300 Legacy, Plano. Guests welcome For more info: Per Treven, 972.583.8273 or per. 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. Second Monday McKinney Ladies Association (SRLA), 7 pm. Various locations and service projects monthly. For more info: Collin County Early Childhood PTA, 9:45 am, Parkway Hills Baptist Church, 2700 Dallas Pkwy., Plano. Nursery reservations req. For more info: Suzanne Judkins, 972.712.3634. The MOB (Men of Business), 11:30 am-1 pm, TopGolf USA, Allen for male bonding and networking over lunch. $20 chamber members; $25 non-members/ general public. For more info:

Veterans of Foreign Wars “Lone Star Post 2150”, 1710 N. Church Street, 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: 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. Heard Museum Collin County Hobby Beekeepers, 7 pm, Heard Craig Center, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566 or www. Sons of Confederate Veterans, William H. L. Wells Camp, No. 1588, 7 pm, Tino’s Too Restaurant, 2205 Ave. K, Plano. Speakers, school programs, etc. Open to anyone interested. For more info: Lloyd Campbell, 972.442.5982. Third Monday Allen Retired Educators, 10:30 am, Heritage Ranch Country Club, 465 Scenic Ranch Circle, Fairview. For more info: or RSVP: Jerri Caldronia@ Collin County Aggie Moms, 7 pm, Texas A&M Ext. Center, Coit between Bush Tollway & Campbell. For more info: 972.382.3124 or www.

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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. Plano Amateur Radio Klub, 7 pm, all welcome. For more info: 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: or Richard Henry, 972.390.7402. Plano Photography Club, 7 pm, Grace Presbyterian Church, 4300 W. Park Blvd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: 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, Custer Rd. United Methodist Church, Rm B5, 6601 Custer Rd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: 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 am-12:30 pm. Raytheon, McKinney. Guests welcome. Every Tuesday & Thursday Allen Serenity Al-Anon Family Group, 7 pm, 1st United Methodist Church, Wesley House, 601 S Greenville. Offers strength and hope to friends & family of alcoholics. For more info: 214.363.0461 or 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 Legacy 4-H Club (Allen and Lucas), 7 pm, Lovejoy High School, Lucas. For more info: or 214.616.2460. Common Threads of Allen, 7 pm, Whole Foods Market Café, Stacy Rd., Fairview. Share needlework projects, learn new techniques, make friends. For more info: contact Debi Maige at 214.704.0994 or 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.

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Second Tuesday Allen Senior Citizens Luncheon, 11:30 am, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville. For more info: 214.509.4820. Allen Democrats, 6:30 pm, Reel Thing Catfish Cafe, 600 E. Main St., Allen. For more info: Deborah Angell Smith 214.893.3643. Collin County Archaeology Society, 7 pm, Texas Star Bank, McKinney. For more info: Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano, 9:30 am refreshments, 10 am program, Collin College Conference Center, 2800 Spring Creek Parkway, Plano. Program: 13th Annual Valentine Tea. Choose from over 20 tables to sit at for tea....each one with its own unique theme, decorations, and place settings. Guests are welcome! For more info: Plano Pacers run at Schimelpfenig Library parking lot, 5024 Custer, in Plano, 7 pm. For more info: Blackland Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, 7-9 pm, Heard Museum, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. Visitors welcome. For more info: or email info@ Collin County ADD/LD Parent Support Group of Collin County, 7-9 pm, parlor, 1st UMC, 601 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. For more info: Shirli Salter, Third Tuesday McKinney Area Newcomers’ Club, welcomes new residents, 9:30 am, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 W. Virginia Pkwy., McKinney. We will be serenaded with holiday tunes by our own McKinney Community Band Flute Choir. For more info: Allen-Frisco-Plano Autism Spectrum Parents Group provides support & resources for parents of children with autism & related developmental disabilities. Join online group at com/group/autismparentsupport. Plano Republican Women’s Club, 11:30 am, Southfork Hotel, 1600 N. Central Expy., Plano. For more info: Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR, The General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter meets Aug.-May. For more Fourth Tuesday Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, 11:30 am-1 pm. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: Heard Museum Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society meets at 7 pm, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566. Porcelain Art Guild of North Texas, 9:30 am, Carriage House, 306 N. Church St., McKinney. Open to anyone, beginner to expert For more info: Gayle Harry 214.509.0787. Every Wednesday Allen Rotary Club, noon, Courtyard by Marriot, 210 East Stacy Rd. For more info: A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4


Toastmasters SpeakUp Allen, “Become the Speaker and Leader you can be”, 7 pm, IHOP, 315 Central Expy,Allen. For more info: Daniel Dodd, 972.571.7527. Allen Sunrise Rotary Club, 7 am, Twin Creeks Hospital, 1001 Raintree Circle. For more info: 972.673.8221 or 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. First Wednesday Allen Heritage Guild, 6:30 pm, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main. For more info: 972.740.8017 or www. 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. Collin County Master Gardeners Assoc. guided tour of Myers Park, 10 am, 7117 County Rd. 166, McKinney. Res. requested. For more info: 972.548.4232 or go to mgcollin@ First and Third Wednesday MOPS of Hope Plano, Hope Community Church, 9:30-11:30, 3405 Custer, Ste. 200, Plano. For more info: 214.762.0037 or www.

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Second Wednesday Collin County Genealogical Society, 7 pm, Haggard Library, 2501 Coit Rd, Plano. For more info: VFW Post 2195, 7:30 pm, Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, 1015 Hwy. 121, Allen. For more info: Larry Nordgaard, 972.727.9956 or Every Thursday Allen Kiwanis Club, Noon, Hilton Garden Inn on 75 just North of Bethany. Visitors welcome. For more info: 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: Bible Study, 9:30–11:30 am, Community North Baptist Church, 2500 Community Avenue, McKinney. Bible study for women and children. Studying Luke. Registration required. For more info: katpf@att.nett or mckinneyallen. Allen Classic Cars, 7-10 pm, 103-111 N. Central, parking lot of Chipotle & Stacy Furn. Weight Watchers, 12:15 and 6 pm, First United Methodist Church, 600 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. Enter at the south entrance, second floor. Speak Up! Frisco Toastmasters Club, 7-7:30 pm social, 7:30-8:30 meeting. U of D-Frisco campus, Frisco Chamber, 6843 W. Main St. For more info: http://speakupfrisco.freetoasthost. ws.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Collin County), Recovery support for adults living with mental illness. Led by trained individuals. Free, 6:30-8:30 pm, Custer Road UMC, 6601 Custer Rd., Plano. For more info: 214.509.0085 or www.namicco. org. First Thursday North Dallas Newcomers, 11 am., Various locations. For more info: www.northdallasnewcomers.met. Allen Garden Club, meets 7 pm, monthly gardening talks by area experts, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main Street. For more info: Denise Webre, 972.390.8536 or Second Thursday 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: Lovejoy Preschool PTA. Monthly general meetings at Creekwood UUMC, 261 Country Club Road, Fairview. Different topic and guest speakers each month. Lunch provided free and babysitting available for nominal fee. For more info:, Lovejoy-Preschool-PTA/. McKinney Area Republican Co-Ed Club, 7 pm, Collin County GOP Headquarters, 8416 Stacey Rd., #100, McKinney. Location sometimes varies. For more info:

Osteoporosis Support Group, 6:30 pm, Presbyterian Hospital of Allen, Com. Education Rm-Medical Office Bldg. 2. For more info: 972.747.6036. Legal Aid Clinic, 6 pm, First United Methodist Church. For more info: or 1.888.529.5277. PSA:NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness] of Collin County, 7:30 pm, Custer Road UM Church, 6601 Custer Road, Plano. Enter at the SE end, room B2. Peer support group, B6 and Family support group, B1, meet from 6:30-7:20 pm. For more info: Second and Fourth Thursday 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, enlightening and motivating citizens to participate in the political process. For more info: Third Thursday Knights of Columbus, 7:30 pm, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville, Allen. For more info: Steve Nagy, 469.569.3357 or Xtra Years of Zest Seniors Luncheon, noon, First United Methodist Church Allen, 601 S. Greenville, Fellowship Hall. Lunch, fellowship, speakers & entertainers. For more info: Live @ 5 Business After Hours, 5-6:30 pm at various member businesses. Free. For more info: Breast Cancer Support Group, 6:30 pm, Presbyterian Hospital of Allen, 1105 Central Expwy. N., Community Education Room-Med.Office Bldg. 2. For more info: 972.747.6036. Cancer Support Ministry, 7 pm, 1st Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E101. For more info: James Craver, 972.727.8241. Collin County Republican Men’s Club, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: Allen Quilters’ Guild, 6:30 pm, 1st Presbyterian Church, 605 S Greenville. For more info: Allen/McKinney Area Mothers of Multiples, new & expectant moms’ forum, 7 pm, First Christian Church, 1800 W. Hunt, McKinney. For more info: or 972.260.9330. Fourth Thursday Voyagers Social Club of McKinney, 10 am, Heard-Craig Hall Gallery, 306 N. Church St., McKinney. Social club open to women in McKinney and surrounding areas. For more info: Every Other Thursday North Texas Referral Group, 11:45 am, Friday’s (121 & Preston). For more info:

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Every Friday Allen Senior Rec Center Dances, 1-3 pm. Ages 50+. Members free/Non-member Allen resident $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 birth to 5 years, 9:30-11:45 am, First Baptist Church in Allen. Childcare provided. For more info: 972.727.8241. 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 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 Street, McKinney. For more info: “Driveway John” 971.822.4483, or visit on web: www.

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Open Forum, meaningful discussions, 3 pm, Delaney’s Pub, 6150 W. Eldorado Pkwy., McKinney. For more info: Charlie, 214.585.0004. Second Saturday 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 to teach children to serve their community. For more info: 972.396.8010. Department 56 Village Collectors Club meets in the Plano/North Dallas area to share ideas. For more info: 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: or info@ Allen Folk Music Society, 7-10 pm, The Blue House, 102 S. Allen Drive, Allen. Musicians aged 15-100. Bring snacks to share. For more info: 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

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 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: First Sunday United Methodist Women’s Reading Group, 2 pm, First Methodist Church of Allen, 601 S. Greenville, Church Parlor. Join us for book discussion and refreshments. Book selections are determined at the January meeting. We do encourage women of all faiths to participate. For more info:

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@

For a chance to win a $50 dining card

For Your Health

A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4


by Peggy Helmick-Richardson

cover story Jason’s desire to learn the French horn began at an early age. “I was constantly surrounded by great music. My dad is an amateur horn player and he instilled a love of classical music in me. And my uncle William Bryan, the chaplain at Dallas Theological Seminary, is also a trumpet player.” Over time, this Allen High School graduate’s appreciation for the French horn blossomed into a passion. Today, Jason plays in the United States Navy Band and looks forward to the group’s upcoming concert in Allen. The free concert will be held Sunday afternoon, February 16, at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of Allen High School. Jason moved to Allen with his parents Phil and Jane and sister Lauren in time to attend sixth grade at the then brand-new Story Elementary School. There he began his first year of band experience. The following year, he started private lessons with Jean Holbrook Bryant, then band director at Clark Middle School in Princeton. It was a natural progression for Jason to join the award-winning Allen High School Band as a freshman, and by his second semester he earned the status of first chair French horn. He fondly recalls his years with the high school band, then under the direction of Craig Logan. “I was the first freshman to make Area for Allen High School and during my sophomore, junior and senior year I was an All-State player,” he notes. “My senior year, we went to Ireland and did the Saint Paddy’s Day in Dublin, several contests and festivals, and played in an amazing church. It was an awesome trip.” After attending SMU for a year and a half, Jason transferred to the University of North Texas where he earned his bachelor of fine arts in music performance. The Denton school was where he also met his wife Anna Claire, a bassoonist and another music performance major. Today, the couple live in Frederick, Maryland, with daughters Elli-Grace, 7, and Aria, 4.

Anna Claire currently works as the music teacher at their daughters’ elementary school. While he was at UNT, Dallas Brass founder Michael Levine invited the Allen musician to join his es­­ teemed ensemble. “I spent four years traveling to all the states except Hawaii and did a tour in Germany,” Jason reminisces. “The first half was a classical portion and in the second half we would do a jazz set with Dixieland, swing and funk.” The couple moved to Maryland in 2003 when Anna Claire was invited to study at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In a new state and with no job, Jason began scouting out opportunities. “The principal horn player for the Baltimore Symphony was performing with his brass quintet and afterwards I went up

and introduced myself.” His boldness paid off and a week later, Jason was invited to play with the Baltimore Symphony. Shortly after that the Delaware Symphony brought him on board, initially as third horn and later third/associate. He also picked up occasional freelance jobs. Soon after arriving in Baltimore, Jason auditioned for the U.S. Marine Band where he just missed out on being chosen, earning runner-up status. In May of 2005, Jason auditioned for another slot in a U.S. military band, this time the U.S. Navy Band, and was selected. His required boot camp ran from November 25 to January 31, 2006. He reported to the band on the following day. The 176-member U.S. Navy Band is comprised of the traditional concert and ceremonial bands that perform at

A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4


official government and select special events, as well as the Navy’s chorus the Sea Chanters and the jazz ensemble The Commodores. In addition, the Country Current offers countrybluegrass performances, the Cruisers present contemporary music programs, and eight chamber music ensembles often perform at the White House Naval functions.

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“I play mainly in the concert/ ceremonial bands and the brass quintet,” Jason points out. “It’s spectacular! We are a presidential support unit on call to the White House. We do whatever ceremonies the Naval District Washington needs us to do. And the band’s mainstay is funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. ” Among the more memorable

performances Jason has participated in are a concert hosted by actor Kevin Bacon for children who had lost parents in Afghanistan and a 50th anniversary concert at the Arlington National Cemetery amphitheater to honor Korean War veterans. “Every year we play at the White House and I’ve played in front of Presidents Bush and Obama, and for retirements of Naval officers,” he points out. He also enjoyed participating in the inter­ national military band tattoos in Quebec and Norfolk, Virginia. He adds that in the summers, the band offers Monday night concerts on the Capitol steps and plays Tuesday nights at the Navy Memorial. Thrilled to be an integral part of the U.S. Navy Band, Jason has re-enlisted twice and plans on continuing with the group “as long as they will have me.” He also hopes for promotions within the organization because each adds an additional two to three years of service to the group. Without a promotion, members can stay in the band for up to 20 years. Along with his commitments to the Navy Band, Jason was recently appointed professor of horn at Towson University in Maryland, teaching one evening per week. He explains that Navy Band rehearses in the mornings and collateral responsi­ bilities are dealt with in the afternoons. So other than concert dates, members are free in the evenings. In addition to being principal horn player in the Navy Band, Jason serves as a senior member of the audition team, head crew chief and national tour manager. It was the latter responsibility that provided him the chance to return to his old stomping grounds and perform for the community that gave him his musical start. Every year, different units of the Navy Band participate in an annual tour around the United States, offering free concerts to the public. Each band is assigned a select area of the country and for this year, the concert band’s February tour includes Virginia, North

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A lle n I m a g e x F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4


Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. During the month, the group will present concerts in 22 communities. Jason states that the concert band program

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incudes traditional marches, patriotic tunes, concert band music and jazz.

The Navy Band Story

Although Congress established the Department of the Navy in 1798, there was no official U.S. Navy Band until the U.S. Naval Academy established one upon its opening in 1845. The popularity of the group grew quickly and took the title of United States Naval Academy Band and is still in existence today. A famed Navy Band musician is John Phillip Sousa. Although more known for his years with the U.S. Marine Band and 12 years as its director, Sousa served as a Navy bandmaster from 1917-1919. The U.S. Navy Band credits Sousa for attracting many young, talented musicians to the group and creating smaller bands for the purpose of touring the United States to support recruiting, service organizations such as the Red Cross and the pur足 chase of Liberty Bonds. Over $21 million was raised during the two years Sousa served. The Washington Navy Yard, established in 1799, had its own cadre of musicians that in 1905 totaled 18. In 1919, Lt. Charles Benter began directing the Navy Yard Band. To

attract public attention to the group, he scheduled more concerts and radio performances, including the Monday evening summer concert series on the Capital Plaza that continues today. President Calvin Coolidge signed a law in 1929 that decreed the Navy Yard Band would be designated the United States Navy Band. This early band earned the distinction of welcoming home Charles Lindbergh from his flight home across the Atlantic Ocean and Admiral Byrd from his South Pole Trek. Charles Brendler became the U.S. Navy Band’s second leader in 1942. As leader, he increased the band’s number to 90, created the Navy Band Symphony Orchestra and the group became more involved with Arlington National Cemetery. In 1945 “The Navy Hour” radio program carried by NBC, CBS and Armed Forces Radio with Robert Taylor and Gene Kelly began airing and continued for 23 years. In 1955 the Navy Band appeared on television for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show and later that year at the Super Bowl. Brendler’s successor, Lieutenant Commander Anthony A. Mitchell, 19621968, established the annual Washington Area Solo Festival for high school students in the Washington, D.C. area and a series of children’s concerts that continued for a number of years. For the next five years, the Navy Band was under the leadership of Commander Donald Stauffer. One of his accomplishments was creating the Commodore Jazz Ensemble from the Dance Band, followed by the Ceremonial Band and Port Authority rock ensemble and Country Current. Today, The Commodores play a major role in the Navy Band and have performed with a number of esteemed legends of jazz. The Ceremonial Band has grown to be one of the most promi­ nent of the ensembles, performing for military and state ceremonies, Arlington Cemetery funerals and patriotic events. The Port Authority eventually disbanded, but the Cruisers

The Allen community now has an opportunity to hear the Navy Concert Band at 3 p.m. Sunday, February 16 at The Performing Arts Center at Allen High School, 300 Rivercrest Blvd. Free tickets can be ordered at

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stepped in to replace it. Formed by famed banjo player Bill Emerson, Country Current has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and Academy of Country Music Awards. Lieutenant Commander Ned Muffley held the reins of the Navy Band from 1973 to 1978. Muffley was invited by Arthur Fielder to conduct the Boston Pops Orchestra and also to conduct his ensemble at the Navy Band’s 50th Anniversary Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1975. Commander William Joseph Phillips, 1978-1984, spearheaded the release of four Navy Band albums. In 1980 the Navy Band performed at the arrival ceremony for Pope John Paul II and the next year for the ceremonies honoring the return of the 52 American hostages held in Iran and the crew of the space shuttle Columbia. From 1984 to 1989, Commander Alan Beck led the Navy Band and through his creation of the Navy Band National Tour Operations Department, the group allowed the Navy Band to travel via the support of government funding and routinely establish the annual tours still popular today. Under Commander Phillip Field, The Navy Band performed for the 1990 arrival of U.S.S.R. president Mikhail Gorbachev and again in 1992 for Russian president Boris Yeltsin. In

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1991, the Navy Band initiated its Music in the Schools program. Commander William Joseph Phillips directed the Navy Band in performing for the Bicentennial of the U.S. Capital and reinstallation of the Statue of Freedom on the U.S. Capital dome in 1993 and the opening cere­ mony for the World Cup Soccer match in Washington, D.C. the next year. While under the direction of Commander John Pastin, the band performed at the Korean War Veterans Memorial Celebration, the rededi­ cation of the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina and for the American Embassy in Ireland and at Carnegie Hall. Captain George Thompson served as the Navy’s first African-American bandmaster, 2007-2010. Prestigious events the band participated in under his command include the dedication of the Pentagon Memorials on September 11, 2008, and the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. The current commander of the U.S. Navy Band is Captain Brian Walden. Under his leadership the band has conducted two national concert tours, released the Lincolnshire Posy project on DVD, and performed with guest jazz artist Branford Marsalis. v Peggy Helmick-Richardson is a freelance writer.


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C A R D S 57

Photos by Julie Sandy

Allen Image February 2014  

Allen Image February 2014