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At the Law Offices of Dana C. Palmer, they believe that divorce doesn’t have to be so hard.

battle, with each spouse trying to extract as much money as possible from the other, then no one ‘wins.’

“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.”

“I’m the type of person who is always looking 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.”

A better way to divorce 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

Dana C. Palmer

Soft Divorce® is a concept and framework of 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.

In this issue

July 2013

Vol. 23, Issue 7

cover story 58 Taking a bite out of poverty

A 1991 mission trip to La Moskitia (Moskito Coast) of Honduras proved to be the turning point for Tom Brian. By 1995, the Brians, Tom and Sharon, recognized the need for a formal non-profit organization and Send Hope was born. Tom retired in 2011, providing him greater opportunity to share Send Hope’s story, raise money for its children and spend more time in La Moskitia. by Peggy Helmick-Richardson


feature 22 Going the distance

Endurance athlete, David Hanenburg, ran duathlons then tried triathlons, marathons and ultramarathons (a 50K race) before trying even longer races. He built his stamina with 50-mile and 100K races before attempting the Rocky Raccoon 100-mile trail race, which he finished this past February. by Deborah Dove

special sections 20 business seen


Precision Cut & Color/Salvador Vasquez

Fairview Down Under

Kelli Calhoun, Massage Therapist by Nicole Bywater

30 kids korner

The best travel apps for kids and parents by Deborah Dove

44 pet page Moto

46 calendar

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66 people seen

For a chance to win a $50 dining card

contents departments civic forum 10

Allen City Blues Festival Returns by Jeff Mues



Youth hockey programs earn gold while the pros win a championship by Jeff Mues


Masonic Award

Poetry Contest Winner

Superhero Films


Storm drains still need protection during drought



Texas Rangers


Son of Swan


Bob Wills Night

The face of poverty and hunger is hard to recognize in this town by Marjorie Vaneskahian

advertising sales Sue Hardesty Kris Jones

contributing writers Nicole Bywater

Tom Keener Jeff Mues Dawn Bluemel Oldfield Peggy Helmick-Richardson Jennifer Slingerland Ryan Marjorie Vaneskahian Kathleen Vaught

cover photo Larry Fleming

education 32

Georgia peaches and raspberry pi by Heather Darrow

travel 36

Wet and Wild in San Antonio by Deborah Dove

beauty/fashion 40

Put your best foot forward by Dawn Oldfield

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Carrie McCormick

Deborah Dove

helping hands


office administrator

Parks & Recreation Month

by Tom Keener


Barbara Peavy

Heather Darrow




by Kathleen Vaught by Jeff Mues


Allen Image

family life 42

Children and play by Jennifer Slingerland Ryan

Allen Image Š 2013 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

Griff Hamlin and the Circle City Horns

Allen City Blues Festival Returns by Jeff Mues North Texas’ premier blues festival—The Allen City Blues Festival—returns to Allen Event Center Saturday, July 27, with more than a dozen acts set to grace two stages throughout the day and into the evening. Main Stage acts will include Eric Johnson, Billy Cox Band of Gypsys Experience, the Wanda King All Star Revue Band featuring Joey Love, Griff Hamlin & The Circle City Horns, Kirby Kelley and The Peterson Brothers Band. The Guitar Sanctuary Stage will offer the Maylee Thomas Band, Grady Yates featuring Milo Deering and Brady Mosher, Nick and the Nighthawks, The Alex Dowidchuk Trio featuring Thomas Dawson, special guests and featured performances from the Guitar Sanctuary Performance Academy.

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Eric Johnson’s stature as one of the premier guitar players in con­temporary music is his artistic trump card, backed by a Grammy Award and five nomina­ tions, a platinum album, Top 10 hits like “Cliffs of Do­ v er,” praise from critics and the esteem of his peers. But the full hand of his talents marks him as a gifted songwriter, dynamic live performer, singer, pianist, song interpreter and creator of a rich and diverse musical legacy. His many achievements include being enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and being named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine. Billy Cox is the only surviving member of both The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys. Best known for his bass work

with Hendrix in the Band of Gypsys, Cox’s signature playing was an integral part of the legendary performance at Woodstock. He remains vital to the Hendrix legacy today, carrying forward Jimi Hendrix’s blues and rock-n-roll spirit with his fantastic group—Billy Cox Band of Gypsys Experience. A member of the Musicians Hall Of Fame, Cox has played in recent years with the likes of Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. Wanda King has a style all her own taking a cool, laid-back approach to the blues with a big voice and stage presence to match. President of the Freddie King Blues Foundation, Wanda King recently accepted the award for her late father at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. His influence on her style is

unmistakable and shines through when you hear The Wanda King All Star Revue Band featuring Joey Love (who played a solo on the second stage last year). Having grown up amidst the greats whose music filled the King’s home such as Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King and B.B. King, Wanda King’s unique brand of the blues truly belongs on the biggest of stages. Griff Hamlin and the Circle City Horns’ fiery brand of blues/rock is full of soul and spirit that will bend your understanding of what the blues can be. The band excels at connecting with a crowd, bringing them in for a wild ride full of spontaneity and excitement. With the highest caliber of musicians and performers and a full horn section, North Texas audiences are poised to discover one of California’s best bands

and brightest stars in Griff Hamlin. Whether it be a B.B. King or Freddie King classic or one of Griff’s original compositions—the songs are always fresh and the performance is always exciting and spontaneous. With so much experience under their belt, what this band excels at is connecting quickly with a crowd and taking them down a transformational journey through a style of music that everyone can relate to—the blues. Kirby Kelley rightfully wears the crown as King of the Blues having beaten out more than 4,000 guitarists for the honor as judged by Hubert Sumlin of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Grammy Award winner Pete Anderson. Kelley’s skills as a slide guitarist set him apart, and are extracted from a

myriad of influences that culminate into a rich gumbo of blues-based musical soul food. Excelling at acoustic fingerstyle Delta, Texas and Piedmont blues stylings, Kelley places his indelible stamp on the presentation of each with raw power, emotion and soulful vocals set deeply in the origins of the blues. Rounding out the main stage, The Peterson Brothers Band features two young talents—Alex, 14, on bass, violin and vocals, and Glenn Jr., 16, on guitar and lead vocals. Their music combines a classic blues sound with their own unique blend of soul-infused inspiration. In just a few short years they have had the opportunity to open for or share the stage with Pinetop Perkins, B.B. King, Los Lonely Boys, Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy. The band is in the studio working on their debut album so the Allen City Blues Festival audience can say they saw them first. The Guitar Sanctuary Stage, located within a refreshing, shaded beer garden adjacent to the arena, also features a lineup with considerable talent. Programmed by The Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney, intimate sets from great musicians will begin shortly after doors open at 1 p.m. The stage will be headlined by the Maylee Thomas Band—a band that transcends genre, mixing gospel-based blues with a soul-driven rock sound. The stage also features the well-honed guitar chops and catchy melodic grooves of Nick and the Nighthawks, one of Texas’ rising young guitar phenoms— Alex Dowidchuk, and Grady Yates, whose musical stylings bring Tortola to Texas with toes-in-the-sand attitude. Special guests and featured performers from the Guitar Sanctuary Performance Academy will also be announced. For more information on the second annual Allen City Blues Festival, visit v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator

Eric Johnson

with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks and Recreation Department. Allen Image x July 2013


Youth hockey programs earn gold while the pros win a championship by Jeff Mues

This summer has been a monumental one in terms of hockey at Allen Event Center with one of its anchor tenants—the Allen Americans— earning their first Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship. The championship was won just days after the other ice-focused component of the complex, Allen Community Ice Rink, was named a Gold Status association by USA Hockey. It is the highest status awarded by the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States. Both honors are the culmination of long, hard-earned efforts. For the Allen Americans, it took

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extra time—two minutes and 47 seconds to be exact—into the first overtime of game seven in front of a sellout crowd of 6,125 at Allen Event Center to bring home the title. It is the crowning achievement on a journey that began in April 2009 when the Central Hockey League announced that an expansion team would begin play at Allen Event Center in the 2009– 10 season. The Americans experienced early success making it all the way to the finals before falling just short of a championship in that first season. In the 2010-11 season they would become

regular season champions of the Berry Conference before bowing out in the Conference Finals. The 2011-12 season would see the Americans finish second in the Berry Conference regular season, but they could make it no further than the Conference SemiFinals that year. Behind all the success on the ice leading up to this year’s championship run is an ownership group, Top Shelf, LLC, along with minority owners, former Dallas Stars Mike Modano, Craig Ludwig and Ed Belfour, and team President Matt Canavan. The group has shown tremendous commitment to winning, but their efforts extend well beyond the ice. They have frequently shown leadership in charitable endeavors such as leading a drive for supplies for the victims of the disaster in West, Texas. “The Americans are elated that all the hard work has paid off in winning the Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship,” said Matt Canavan. “It is extra special to bring it home to our fans in Allen who have been so incredibly loyal and passionate.” Success and

Biscuits Mite 6 & Under,” and organized a female-focused hockey class—the “Girls Learn to Play” program for ages 4-14. “It is quite an amazing experience to be able to teach this wonderful sport to girls and boys and watch as their passion and love of the game grows from the moment their skates touch the ice,” says Kendall Hanley, Director of Hockey at Allen Community Ice Rink. “Our goal is to be the best youth hockey recreational option in North Texas and being named a Gold Status association by USA Hockey demonstrates that we are on the right path.” The Allen community can be proud that for both professionals and amateur youth hockey players, the path to success travels through Allen Event Center. Visit AllenEventCenter. com for information. v accolades for Allen Event Center have not been limited to just the accomplish­ ments of the professional hockey players. At Allen Community Ice Rink (ACIR), the state-of-the-art community ice skating rink located within the Allen Event Center complex, hard work has paid off in terms of youth hockey programming. In appreciation of efforts in growing the game of hockey, ACIR has been named a Gold Status association by USA Hockey with that organization awarding the facility a dozen sets of youth starter equipment. The new equipment is important to ACIR’s efforts to keep hockey affordable, adding to its supply of low-cost youth rental equipment. It is also utilized in “Try Hockey for Free Clinics”— introductory sessions designed to allow kids the opportunity to try the game before investing in equipment. To achieve Gold Status, ACIR answered the “Two and Two Challenge” by participating in several growth initiatives. More than doubling participation in the Junior Americans Youth Hockey Program, ACIR easily surpassed the “Two and Two Challenge” goal of gaining two additional players for a program while

also retaining two more players than in the previous season. Notably, ACIR implemented a new original growth program, “Mini

Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks and Recreation Department.

Allen Image x July 2013


Snippets Masonic Award The Mirabeau B. Lamar Award is named for the second President of the Texas Republic who is considered by many to be the father of Texas public education. This prestigious award is presented annually to an outstanding educator within the Allen and Lovejoy school districts and this year’s recipient, Tim Carroll, is the director of information and community services for the Allen ISD.

Poetry Contest Winner Sarah Denke of Plano, an 11th grader at Faith Lutheran High School, was recently recognized by The Mockingbird Chapter of the Poetry Society of Texas for her placement in the 42nd Annual Collin County Poetry Contest. This year’s contest received more than 500 entries. More than 60 different schools in the county were represented with entries. Denke’s entry “Read to Soar” placed 2nd in the 11th grade category. “It is always a great pleasure to see our dedicated and talented students recognized,” said Faith Lutheran School Headmaster Timothy Merritt of Plano.

The award was presented on May 14 at the Allen Masonic Lodge and included a dinner prior to the presentation. Special guests at the event were Dr. Ken Helvey, Superintendent of Allen Independent School District and former award recipients, Regina Taylor, Stephanie Richards and Linda Burdette. v

The Mockingbird Chapter of the Poetry Society of Texas has sponsored the Annual Collin County Poetry Contest for 42 years. This year’s contest was open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Collin County public, private and home schools. The contest was also open to all adults residing in Collin County and to the members of the Mockingbird Chapter regardless of residence. v

Superhero Films

Bring your entire family for free movies that begin on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Call 214.509.4905 for information. July 2—X-Men First Class (2011), starring James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon and Jennifer Lawrence. In 1962, the U.S. government enlists the help of mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start World War III. July 9—Spiderman (2002), starring Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst and Cliff Robertson. When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy and awkward student gains spider-like abilities that he uses to fight evil. July 16—Spiderman 2, starring Tobey Macquire, Kirsten Dunst and Cliff Robertson. Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius, who becomes Doctor Octopus (aka Doc Ock), after an accident causes him to bond psychically with mechanical tentacles that do his bidding. July 23—Spiderman 3 (2007), starring Tobey Macquire, Rosemary Harris and James Franco. A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with temptations and revenge. July 30—The Amazing Spiderman (2012), starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans. Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. v

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IN THE PAST to get a sleep study diagnosis, you had to visit your primary care physician, who would refer you to an ENT, who might suggest surgery or a sleep specialist, who would then, refer you for an “in lab” study. After all that, you would be turned to a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device to use at night. The CPAP basically blows air down your throat to splint your airway open, in hopes of reducing snoring. Many find this mask difficult or impossible to tolerate, but now a com­ pletely new approach has entered the sleep study arena. Simple Sleep Services, located at 6101 Chapel Hill, near Willow Bend Mall, has taken this process and made it more convenient and comfortable than other sleep studies, by streamlining and making it easier on the patient. At Simple Sleep Services, the testing is done in the comfort of your own home by wearing a soft headband with a small

recording device. You take it home and sleep in your own bed. Then simply bring it back to the office and the medical director, a board-certified sleep physician, interprets the test results and contacts you with a diagnosis. The therapy and devices have been around for a while, but Simple Sleep Services is the first to streamline the process, making it an all around easier experience for the patient. In 2006, the American Association of Sleep Medicine recommended the oral device Simple Sleep Services provides as a first line therapy for snoring, mild and moderate sleep apnea and second line therapy for severe sleep apnea when patients fail or refuse a CPAP mask. Frisco residents Michael and Lesa Swimelar, decided years ago the best way to get rest was to sleep in separate rooms. Michael’s loud snoring had become such a disturbance he eventually retreated to the guest room without even being asked.

The couple knew about sleep studies and the CPAP mask, but knew this was not an option. “There was no way in the world I was going to wear a mask”, Michael said. Then they learned how Simple Sleep Services is changing the way sleep issues, such as snoring and sleep apnea, are being diagnosed and treated. “When I realized there were alternatives, I checked it out. I wanted to get my life and wife back.” The charming staff, spa like atmosphere, and innovative treatment made it an easy decision. “I was most impressed by how they included me in the process. They didn’t just want Michael’s feedback on his progress. They treated the problem as a family one”, said Lesa. Michael’s diagnosis was not apnea, but rather a bad case of snoring corrected with the oral appliance from Simple Sleep Services. For Bobby Barajas, however, it wasn’t just loud snoring, but he also suffered from sleep apnea. He woke several times in the night, and was lethargic during the day. “It has been an unbelievable experience from the first night I started using the sleep device. I had more energy during the day and a better attitude.” If you are wondering if this is an affordable solution, the answer is absolutely. Simple Sleep Services works with all private insurance companies including Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, United, Aetna, Cigna, Humana and others. They are a Medicare approved facility and accept Medicare for their services. Simple Sleep Services also offers affordable and convenient payment options including interest free financing. All major medical insurance accepted including United, Blue Cross, Aetna and Cigna Whether you’re looking to restore harmony in the bedroom or worried about sleep apnea, Simple Sleep Services is the streamlined solution for diagnosis and treatment. To read more success stories or set up your consultation, visit www. or call 469685-1700. A good night’s sleep shouldn’t be work. It’s Simple.

Storm drains still need protection during drought by Kathleen Vaught

While not as fun as hosting Allen USA or as visible as new roadway construction, the work behind the scenes to safeguard our water supply through the city’s comprehensive storm water management program (SWMP) is crucial. “Storm water run-off may not be the first thing people think of when they think of pollutants to our water supply,” explains Tim Porter, Program Manager in the City of Allen Engineering Department who oversees the SWMP. “But it’s important to understand that anything that enters the storm drainage system that is not 100% rainwater is considered illicit

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discharge and has the potential to contaminate our water.” In accordance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and as part of the City of Allen’s renewed Texas Pollution Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit, the city continues to develop and implement the SWMP designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants, protect water quality and adhere to the national Clean Water Act. The TPDES permit has a series of measures and programs that must be implemented and tracked in the SWMP. Successful storm water management is vital to reduce sources

of pollution to our waterways and a key program component is education and outreach. Hopefully you have noticed the increase in storm water education through print, Internet, public service announcements and interactive presentations for both kids and adults. The city also has conducted in-house training for field employees to be able to recognize any potential issues they may run across. In addition, the city’s Geographic Information System was used to map the storm water system providing the city with valuable dry weather tracking information. These measures have gone a long

way in creating storm water protection awareness and to decrease storm water pollution, however, there is always more to do and we need everyone’s help. “Even in times of extreme drought, trash and debris including fertilizers, pet waste and grass clippings can collect in storm drains,” stated Porter. “If not properly removed, these pollutants are carried untreated to streams, ponds and area lakes which provide recreation, habitats for local wildlife and a source for our drinking water. Too much litter or debris swept or blown into the storm drains may also cause the system to become clogged, which could produce flooding and other hazards.” Resident awareness and partici­ pation is a large part of the success of the program and the even greater goal of protecting our water supply. Never sweep or dump anything down storm drains. And, if you discover or witness an illicit dis­

charge, please call the hotline at 214.509.4512 to report it. Not only does it violate city ordinance to allow pollutants to enter the storm drainage system, it endangers our water resources that contribute to the quality

of life we all enjoy in North Central Texas. To learn more, visit www. v Kathleen Vaught is the senior marketing specialist for the City of Allen

Allen Image x July 2013


Parks and Recreation Month by Jeff Mues

Soaring temperatures, the sound of children laughing, water splashing and the smell of hot dogs on the grill can only mean one thing—schools have let out and summer is here and in full swing. Homework assignments, single file lines and backpacks are already a distant memory for our youth as July is now here. School will be back in session and fall will be upon us again before we know it! Now is the time to make sure summer counts. With the wide availability of summer camps, sports, classes and activities—good for both mind and body—we are fortunate to have many options for our youth. Adults too, have many options in Allen. No matter our age, we all love to play and can reap the benefits of exercise. So where can we turn to make summer count? The City of Allen’s Parks and Recreation Department is a great starting point! Parks and recreation will join the National Recreation and Park Association and Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell in declaring the month of July as Parks and Recreation Month. To help encourage Allen residents to get into the spirit, we are taking things to a new level this year. How so? Well, for starters we’ve partnered with ACTV and Emmy award-winning family entertainer David Chicken to create a

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new theme song and music video. The video sets the tone for the month, taking a light-hearted approach to celebrating something we can all appreciate—Play! It will premiere at the Market Street Allen USA Celebration and you can also find it on the Allen Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page. As David Chicken’s silly rap goes, “Gonna sing, dance, run, jump all the way, but I need some help from you okay?” More than just a lyric, this is what it’s really all about. The Allen Parks and Recreation Department invites your participation—we want you to “sing, dance, run, jump” and just plain have fun. But we also want to capture those moments on video this year! Throughout the month the

focus will shift to different facilities within the Allen Parks and Recreation Department with a cool flip cam being rotated between facilities. A schedule will be posted so you know where and when you can ask for the camera to film yourself making a silly face, doing a silly dance or telling us why you love Allen Parks and Recreation! Additionally, we welcome the uploading to Facebook of any photos of you enjoying your time in Allen’s parks. Doing these things will enter you to win great prizes including that cool flip cam! Adults are eligible to participate in the contests as well. There are no age limits on loving to play or enjoying parks and recreation opportunities in Allen. Don’t believe us? Perhaps, a

brand new park designed specifically for adult recreation will change your mind! What better time than Parks and Recreation Month to debut Allen’s newest park—Hillside Park! The new park will be adjacent to the Blue Sky Sports Center at 950 E. Main St. and as of press time, it is on pace to open by month’s end. Hillside Park will feature exercise stations, benches, picnic tables, a water fountain, walking paths and a concave pavilion that contributes to its unique look. An information session will be hosted by the Allen Senior Recreation Center in late July with a presentation from some of the folks behind the design. Visit to learn more about all of Allen’s diverse parks and recreation offerings and facilities and be sure to check AllenParksandRec for videos, photos, contests and fun throughout Parks and Recreation Month! v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks and Recreation Department.

Allen Image x July 2013


business seen by Nicole Bywater

Precision Cut & Color/Salvador Vasquez

There’s a difference between getting a haircut that just looks good and getting one that’s precise, says master stylist Salvador Vasquez. “A precision haircut looks great, of course,” he explains. “But the real difference is that no matter how a person shakes their head or the hair moves, it stays even and falls precisely into place.” His attention to detail and over 51 years of experience are what makes Salvador stand out. Before opening his salon in Dallas, Salvador cut hair with the best in the industry—Paul Mitchell and Vidal Sassoon. Having moved to Heritage Ranch in Fairview last year, he is eager to increase his local client base and spend more time closer to home. “I really love doing hair, which is why I’ve kept at it all these years,” he says. “I enjoy putting a sparkle in someone’s eye and that bounce in their shoes that comes from a great haircut.” Salvador specializes in contemporary styles and provides cuts, color and perms for both women and men. “I like the process of figuring out what I can do with that ‘wet noodle’ and how to make the hair look its best,” he says. “I really see myself as a painter—with my client as the true artist—and my job is to use that canvas to create their vision.” Salvador’s station is located inside Image Nation Salon & Spa at 190 E. Stacy Rd, Ste. 1724 in Allen. For an appointment or more information, call 214.505.9327. v

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Fairview Down Under

Kelli Calhoun, Massage Therapist

When people walk into Fairview Down Under they immediately feel at home. Sure, it’s a bar, but it’s the kind you can bring your family to during the day and everyone can enjoy great food in a relaxed environment. At night, adults can watch the game on one of the 27 TVs or relax on the patio. Happy hour runs all day Sunday thru Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays. Themed nights throughout the week include ‘Open Mic’ night on Wednesdays and ‘Ladies Night Out’ on Thursdays with $5 martinis and DJ dancing. They ramp it up with live music every Friday and Saturday. “We wanted to create a venue where people like us would want to hang out,” says co-owner Kelly Lynch. “It’s an upscale sports bar and live music venue where people can have fun without getting far from home.” Kelly and her husband, Jamie, partnered with their good friends Darrin and Terri Chaisson to open Fairview Down Under last October. Before then, the location had been briefly open as ‘Down Under.’ “When we took over, we added Fairview to the name to help people recognize that it was something new,” Kelly explains. “More impor­ tantly, because we live here, work here and our children go to school in Lovejoy, we wanted to emphasize that we’re part of this community.” Fairview Down Under is located at 352 Town Plaza in the Village at Fairview. For more information, call 972.549.4115 or visit

Getting a massage as a treat or special occasion is great, says Licensed Massage Therapist Kelli Calhoun. However, Kelli encourages people to schedule massage therapy on a regular basis to fully experience the health benefits. “What I do is try to provide the best of both worlds—the luxury of a massage as well as the medicinal benefits,” Kelli explains. “A lot of my clients have been in a car wreck or have other health issues and my job is to make them feel better and hopefully serve as a bright spot in their day.” But even people not in those situations can benefit from regular massage because it serves as preventative care, she adds. Kelli became licensed as a massage therapist in 2007. She started her own practice in Frisco in 2010, before moving it to Allen this January. She is certified in the following massage techniques: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Trigger Point, Chair and Hot Stone. “What I enjoy most is that I really help people—whether they’re getting a massage just once, or every week or every few months,” she says. “Most importantly, I make sure my clients are comfortable, because that’s what allows them to get the most out of the treatments.” Kelli can meet clients at her suite (#203), inside Image Nation Salon & Spa at 190 E. Stacy Rd, Ste. 1724 in Allen, or make arrangements to meet at her clients’ business or home. For more information, visit or call 214.793.7232. v


Going the distance by Deborah Dove

Sometimes, a single moment can change the whole course of a person’s life. For endurance athlete David Hanenburg, that moment came a few years after college when a buddy invited him to go mountain biking. He was quickly hooked on the life/work balance mountain biking provided. Mountain biking led to adventure racing—a team event that typically involves running, mountain biking, kayaking and “mystery challenges.” However, putting together a team wasn’t always easy so David began looking for a non-team multi-sport that would provide the same

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thrill. Since he wasn’t a competitive swimmer, he decided to try a duathlon, which involves running, biking and then running again. Before long, he was ready to try a triathlon. Although initially terrified of the swimming part (“You don’t want to screw up there,” he laughs), Hanenburg survived his first triathlon. In 2004, he completed his first Ironman in 12 hours, 37 minutes and 23 seconds. Over the next few years, he traveled the country with his wife Wendy, exploring new areas and competing in nine duathlons, 24 triathlons and numerous half Ironmans and Ironmans in scenic locales such as Coeur d’Alene (Idaho), New Hampshire, Arizona and Oklahoma. Along the way, he fell in love with the long course events. When his son Griffin arrived in 2007, David decided to focus on marathon running, which would take a fraction of the 15 to 18 training hours per week required for Ironman events. “I knew how many energy points (training for Ironmans) would take and I wanted to use those for my family,” he says. In December of 2006, David ran his first straight out marathon, the White Rock Marathon, hoping to finish in the 3 hours and 10 minutes needed to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Towards the end, he started “bonking,” a runner’s term for when your body shuts down mid-run due to the depletion of glycogen in the muscles. As he rounded the corner towards the finish line he could see the balloons, although his vision was quickly going. “I knew I was close,” says David. He pushed through and crossed the finish line before collapsing. He had qualified by 21 seconds. “If I hadn’t kept going, it probably would have haunted me for the rest of my life,” he says. In 2008, Hanenburg finished the Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 33 minutes. He ran a few more marathons, including the Texas Challenge— (three marathons in three Texas cities in three months)—before running his first trail ultramarathon, the Rockledge Rumble at Grapevine Lake, in the fall of 2007. As he ran the 50K race along park roads and trails that wound through trees and along the lake, Hanenburg fell in love

with the supportive community, changing terrain and quiet environment of trail running. However finding trail events was difficult, so in 2009 Hanenburg started, a website devoted to covering trail and endurance runs in the five- state area surrounding Texas. In addition to covering runs, he began posting running and nutrition tips, gear reviews, interviews and news of interest to trail runners. When he was laid off from his telecom job, he took it as a sign and devoted himself full-time to Endurance Buzz and starting his own trail run events company, Endurance Buzz Adventures, which organizes and hosts trail run events. He also continued to run. He built his stamina with 50-mile and then 100K races before attempting the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile trail race through Huntsville State Park in Huntsville, Texas, in 2010. Unfortunately, a knee injury sustained in a 100k trail run the previous month caused him to drop out of the race at mile 75. In February of 2013, Hanenburg was ready to try the Rocky Raccoon again. He was busy with his family (which had grown to include toddler Ainsley), maintaining Endurance Buzz and putting on 4-5 trail runs a year. He wasn’t at optimal fitness for a 100-mile trail race, but he felt mentally ready. He started the race at 6 a.m. in the still-dark woods with one basic strategy—to power walk the hills, run the straightaways and downhills, and be part of the 60% of runners who finish. The course consists of five times around a 20-mile loop. David vividly remembers the awe of

seeing the sun come up and hearing the forest awake during the first loop, which he finished in 4 hours and 31 minutes. He was ahead of schedule by the end of the second loop, which he finished in 4:42, and he finished loop three in 5:23, just before 9 p.m. As he began the fourth loop, his friend Tim Jagoda joined him as a pacer. He had been running for fifteen hours and had completed 60 miles. “The fourth loop is the crux of the race,” says David. “You are thinking, ‘I almost have to double what I just did.’ The forest gets dark and damp, and it becomes tougher and tougher mentally. A pacer is a magical person to have along.” “A few miles in I told Tim ‘I’m going internal,’” he remembers. “(Ultrarunning) is like condensing the emotions of an entire life into one day. You’re not always allotted 24 hours to reflect without any distractions. It’s kind of like peeling back layers of yourself.” David was also running out of steam. “I felt disconnected, like I couldn’t tell my body to move. It was an out of body experience.” His stride slowed and he completed the fourth loop in 7:03. As he approached the final loop, he was in danger of not making the cut off to finish in time. Tim told him they were going to have to run in order to finish. “It was like hitting a switch,” David says. “I was back in my body. The sun was coming up, the forest was coming alive, and it’s like your whole soul comes alive again.” As they neared the finish, David’s six-year-old son, Griffin, ran the final quarter-mile with him and they crossed the finish line together, with Hanenburg finishing the 100-mile course in 27 hours, 23 minutes and 47 seconds. “Griffin was huffing and puffing as we finished,” David remembers with a laugh. “He said, ‘Man, that was a long run!” Although he would like to do a 100-mile trail run again when he’s more ready, he says that running, like life, is more about the journey than the destination. You just never know where one moment might ultimately take you. v Deborah Dove is a freelance writer from Allen. Allen Image x July 2013



Texas Rangers by Tom Keener

Popularized by Hollywood films, dime novels and Texas history aficionados, the clever strategies and bigger-than-life perseverance led to the Texas Rangers’ recognition as the most respected law enforcement unit in American history. Learn more about the early history of the Texas Rangers with Dr. Michael Collins at 7:30 pm, Thursday, July 25, at the Allen Public Library. Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free. In 1823, Stephen F. Austin created the Texas Rangers in a call to arms. Ten years later, a body of Rangers was once

again created to protect the border and frontier, but it was not until the Mexican American War that the formidable Texas Rangers caught the attention of General (and future president) Zachary Taylor. Abolished after the Civil War, they were reor­

ganized in 1874 and would later be responsible for apprehending notorious bandits such as John Wesley Hardin, Sam Bass and Bonnie and Clyde. The City of Allen played a pivotal role in history of the Texas Rangers. In 1878, Sam Bass and gang robbed the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in Allen, the first successful train robbery in Texas. The need for an organized statewide police force was apparent. Professor Emeritus, Regents Professor of History and Hardin Distinguished Professor of American History at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Dr, Michael Collins is the author of Texas Devils: Rangers and Regulars on the Lower Rio Grande, 18461861; That Damned Cowboy: Theodore Roosevelt and the American West, 18831898; and “The Callahan Expedition” in Tracking the Texas Rangers, ed. by Harold Weismann and Bruce Glasrud. Dr. Collins will also discuss his upcoming book on the “Skinning Wars” in South Texas, a reappraisal of Captain Leander McNelly’s Rangers and the battle at the Palo Alto Prairie and the subsequent Las Cuevas incident of 1875. Call 214.509.4911 for additional v information. Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

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Son of Swan by Tom Keener

Son of Swan rocks the Allen Public Library at 7:30 p.m., Monday, July 22, with a wide range of styles that include rock and hip hop. Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free. Bandleader Neil Swanson has valuable experience as a touring guitarist performing in Asia, Germany and Kosovo for US troops. He also won the prestigious Guitar Center’s Steve Vai Sessions, named for the Grammywinning guitar icon Steve Vai. Swanson is a tasteful guitar player who knows how to energize with highspeed heavy metal solos and when to lay back and play simple melodies that complement the other aspects of a song. “Being a great guitarist takes hard work and discipline, but also love for your craft. If you practice hard at something you love, it hardly seems like work,” explains Swanson. As a songwriter, Swanson has written singles for performers of all

genres from around the country. Known for his unique sounds and originality, Swanson appeals to those interested in original sounds. The library is located at 300 N.

Allen Drive. Please call 214.509.4911 for more information. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

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Bob Wills Night by Tom Keener

Relive the toe-tapping days of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys at the Allen Public Library, 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 19. Bob’s daughter, Carolyn Wills, and David Stricklin, son of Texas Playboy pianist Al Stricklin, will be on hand and the band Shoot Low Sheriff will perform. Free tickets will be issued at 7 p.m. on a first-come, firstserved basis. Carolyn will share anecdotal stories and insights into the genius of the man whose career spanned five decades and who brought hope to Americans during the Great Depression. One fan wrote “the music of the Texas Playboys was the light that got me through those days.” Known as the King of Western Swing, Bob Wills and His Playboys recorded such hits as “New San Antonio Rose”, “Steel Guitar Rag”, “Maiden’s Prayer”, “Take Me Back to Tulsa”, “Spanish Two Step” and “Faded Love” over three decades and influenced countless musicians from Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and George Straight to the Flying Burrito Brothers and Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. The son of a sharecropper and a descendant of a long-line of champion fiddlers, Wills grew up in Turkey, Texas. Early on, he learned frontier fiddle music and, as a boy working in the cotton fields, he was influenced by the soulful music of AfricanAmericans. “I don’t know whether

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they made them up as they moved down the cotton rows or not,” Wills once told Charles Townsend, author of San Antonio Rose: The Life and Times of Bob Wills, “but they sang blues you never heard before.” Texas Playboy Pianist Al Stricklin was working at Ft. Worth’s radio station KFJZ when Bob Wills appeared and asked him to perform. A friendship emerged and Stricklin eventually played the piano for the Texas Playboys from 1935-42. While preparing to perform “The New San Antonio Rose”, Al Stricklin noted in his book My Years with Bob Wills, “I’d never heard bedlam like that before. . . . That’s got to be one

of the greatest nights of my career with Bob Wills. We were on top. We were the honey for the buttered biscuits.” Al’s son David, co-author of Southern Music/American Music, will explain some of the “architecture” of Bob Wills’ songs, focusing on rhythms, solos and vocals, and Wills’ extraordinary gifts as a bandleader. Southern Music/American Music investi­ gates the facets of American music from the South and the many popular forms that emerged from it. For information, call 214.509.4911. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

helping hands

The face of poverty and hunger is hard to recognize in this town by Marjorie Vaneskahian He went to bed hungry. He is home alone all day while his dad looks for work. His mom doesn’t know how she’ll pay the rent this month. They are your neighbors and friends and you don’t even know it. They know how to hide it. They don’t want you to see their pain. It’s embarrassing to be hungry, almost homeless and poor, in cities like Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Our kids all look the same. There’s no “hunger” label on their shirt if they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Our neighbors smile and wave, even if they fear an eviction notice as they struggle to find a better paying job. Hunger and poverty are here, all over Collin County. Allen Community Outreach sees these faces each and every day and we know their pain, fear and despair. Only with your support can ACO help these families through their crisis and on the road to a transformed life. Please recognize the need we have in our town and help ACO end poverty and hunger. Give Where You Live.

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July is an important month for Allen Community Outreach. It’s our time to tell the communities that there is poverty and hunger in our towns. Families need your help year round, not just during the holidays. ACO’s annual campaign, “Christmas In July” is designed to spread this message and ask for support from the community. Mailers go out to Allen, Fairview and Lucas homes; donor information goes up on our website; emails go out to local businesses; and messages on Facebook and social media all get the word out that donations are needed now! Support from the annual campaign makes it possible to help families all year long. The little boy in the story above is Daniel. He’s dressed like all his friends and looks no different. The kids in the neighborhood and on the playground don’t know he didn’t eat dinner last night and went to bed hungry. They also don’t know there’s no food at home as he sits in front of the TV all day while his dad is out looking for a job and his mom is worrying about bills. Their lives weren’t always this way. Both of Daniel’s parents were

employed and had good jobs when they first moved to Allen. They chose Allen for the great schools and the quality of life it could provide for their family. But Daniel’s dad lost his job in Plano about 18 months ago. His mom was working part-time so she could be home when he got home from school and during the summer. She never dreamed she’d have to leave an eight-year-old home alone while she worked. She never dreamed this could happen to her. But it did. ACO was there to help when she no longer had hope. With help paying the rent and utilities, Daniel’s mom could breathe a sigh of relief. With a shopping voucher to the ACO Food Pantry she was able to stock up on groceries and have the refrigerator filled with fresh fruit and produce for Daniel to snack on, meat in the freezer to cook for dinner each night, and breakfast and lunch items for Daniel to prepare himself when he’s home during the summer. Thanks to Care & Share items she received at the ACO office she has plenty of laundry detergent, shampoo and toothpaste that she hadn’t been able to buy.

She never thought the day would come that she could be so grateful for toiletries and basic grocery items. She also never thought she’d be so thankful for a roof over her head and a safe and warm place for Daniel to sleep. She never thought she’d need ACO’s services or be so grateful that a place could offer hope at her time of crisis and despair. Her neighbors don’t know that she received all of this assistance. But she knows that her neighbors and friends made that assistance possible by providing donations to Allen Community Outreach. Although Daniel’s name has been changed, his story is real. There are families like Daniel’s all over Allen, Fairview and Lucas and they need your support. Please Give Where You Live. Give to ACO’s annual campaign, Christmas In July this month online at, or to ACO, 801 E. Main St, Allen, TX 75002. Here’s how your donation can make a difference: • $25 will give a child a grocery bag filled with healthy and nutritious kids’ favorite breakfast and lunch foods for two weeks. • $50 will pay for 10 days of MealsOn-Wheels hot meals delivered for a local senior or homebound neighbor. • $100 can provide healthy groceries and fresh produce for a family of six for one week. • $250 can assist a family with their utility bills for one month. • $500 will keep a family safe in their home for one month. • $1000 is the “Santa” level. Your commitment of support for five years with an annual payment of $1000 will ensure that many families will have their lives transformed with your help. For more information on services, donating, programs and volunteer opportunities, visit our website at www. v or call 972.727.9131. Marjorie B. Vaneskahian is the director of ACO volunteer services/ ACO Food Pantry. Allen Image x July 2013


kids korner

The best travel apps for kids and parents By Deborah Dove Technology makes traveling with kids so much easier with these apps that make your summer vacation easy to plan and keep the kids entertained on the road. Unless otherwise noted, all apps are compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Planning—If you’re taking a road trip, this iPhone app lets you input your destination and will search along your route for food, attractions, lodging, recreation, and other cool things to do along the way. At press time, this app was $2.99. Tripadvisor Offline City Guide—Download this free app to get city guides for most major cities in the world, with a listing of restaurants, attractions and hotels for each location along with thousands of up-to-date traveler reviews of each. There are also itineraries for a variety of self-guided tours, and the app uses your phone’s GPS to show you the best restaurants and attractions nearby, as well as give you directions to them from your current location. There’s also helpful information for trip planning, such as when to go, how to get around, etc., and a trip journal feature that lets you check-in, take a photo, and make notes of each place visited and then uses the photos to create a travel album. Best of all, once you’ve downloaded the app, all information is stored on your phone so you don’t need a live data connection to use it. Sit or Squat—This free app that points you to the nearest toilet could be a lifesaver for parents of small children who often don’t tell you they have to go until they really have to go. The downside is that you have to log in through Facebook, but it may be worth it if you’re desperate! Rest Area Finder—This free app automatically finds your location and displays nearby rest areas, the distance to them, and amenities. You can also change how far out from your current location you want to look, so you can plan ahead for lunch stops. TripIt—Organize all your travel plans and itineraries in one place with this free app for iPhone, iPad or online use. Google Translate—If you’re traveling abroad in a country that doesn’t speak your native language, this free app that translates words and phrases is invaluable. For most languages, you can speak into the microphone and hear the translation spoken aloud. If you’re not traveling abroad, it’s still a fun app for kids to play with in the car (it’s also useful for high school homework). Packing Pro—Never forget a toothbrush or essential baby item again! This app ($2.99 at press time) offers the ultimate packing list, automatically creating lists based on the number of adults, children, and days, as well as temperature, destination, food preparation and other considerations. There are sample packing lists for families, camping, and other scenarios, and users can further customize lists for road-trips, beach vacations, cruises, etc.

Fun Family Car Games—Taking a long road trip? This app ($1.99 at press time) tells you how to play 100 no-equipment-needed family

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games based on difficulty and category, such as “under 5” for younger players and “keeping the peace.” Options include memory games, out the window games, radio games, singing games, and more. Once you’ve chosen a game and read the directions, put your device away and enjoy some technology free family time. Road Trip Bingo—This 99-cent app allows kids to create a bingo “card” featuring signs, animals, vehicles and more with a shake of their device. Once they’ve gotten five in a row, they can shake the device again and get a new card. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt—Everyone in the car can play together, or compete with each other as they search for hundreds of items you might see on the road, including objects such as road signs and car makes, or words on billboards. Enter the names of everyone playing along with how many points are needed to win, then start the game and it will randomly select an object for everyone to look for. When someone spots it, tap their name and they get a point. Available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android-powered devices, this app was $.99 at press time. You can buy an additional game pack with more scavenger hunt items. PBS Kids Video—Kids can watch more than 1,000 videos from over a dozen of their favorite PBS KIDS shows with this free app, including Curious George, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Sesame Street, Wild Kratts, Dinosaur Train and more. Family Matters—This app encourages interaction in the car, airplane, or hotel room on long trips, with a multitude of questions and activities designed to prompt conversation. Categories are general, restaurant, road trip, and doctor’s office, but most can be used anytime you have some time together. $1.99 at press time. iStoryTime—No need to pack a bunch of books when you can download stories to your iPad. Kids ages 2-7 will enjoy “flipping” through the illustrated e-books and listening to the stories. The free app includes four books, with over 100 additional books that can be purchased in-app. Postino—Forget the souvenir shops and send a photo postcard from your trip via e-mail (free) or regular mail (for a fee) from your iPhone. 123 Color Talking Coloring Book—Keep little ones occupied in the car with this educational app ($.99 at press time) that teaches numbers, letters and shapes with sound effects and kid-friendly songs. It also lets kids freestyle finger-paint without going outside the lines, for picture-perfect results every time. Audiobooks from Audible—Use this free app to download a book the whole family can listen to in the car (plug in through the aux connection of your car radio) or that kids can listen to on their own with earphones.


Georgia peaches and raspberry pi Collin engineering students build a robot and enter a national competition by Heather Darrow

Fingerprint locks for bedroom doors, automated houses, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that deliver pizza to your front door and tripped-out, automated home theaters—those are the dreams of engineering students. In the case of Collin College robotics students, playing with orange golf balls {also known as Georgia peaches) and a Linux computer the size of a credit card (known as Raspberry Pi) gives sweet a brand new meaning.

A giant leap of faith

L to R: Cory Mathews, Peter Dyer and Shaun Federspiel

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For the first time in Collin College history, Collin Robotics Club students will participate in the national American Society for Engineering Education robotics competition. Students spent hours designing and crafting a robot that meets requirements, including using an Arduino microcontroller, and then devoted even more time to programming and strategic planning. In the end, all of their effort will culminate in one, giant leap of faith. With baited breath, they will push a button and see if their robot will accomplish the task: pick up 12 “Georgia peaches” and deliver them to a central location in a mere 60 seconds. According to student Cory Mathews, the Collin robotics class and club offer students a variety of opportunities to enhance their robotics skills and both are open to those who do not have experience working with robots. “With the Collin robotics class you go from nothing to learning to build and operate a robot. The club takes robotics to expanded platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone, which can all be used as microcontrollers. We are learning to program in different languages like Java,” Mathews said. Mathews is pursuing a certificate in

cyber security at Collin College and plans to transfer to The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and earn a degree in autonomous security. He is interested in artificial intelligence. “When people think of drones (UAVs), they think military, but we think of civilian applications like aerial surveying. I want to work on security in communication to and from the UAV,” he said. Mathews’ newest toy is a quad copter chassis, which will fly to GPS locations he gives it. He is also building a home entertainment server with Raspberry Pi, which will allow him to stream Netflix and will also store files he can access remotely. The new server will also function as a gaming system with open source video games. “What’s cool about learning this is that you open the robot up and see what is going on under the hood. Instead of a robot from a store doing what it has been programmed to do, you can make the robot do whatever you want, and that is a big deal,” Mathews said.

level math courses. He says he was intimidated, but he had people who believed in him, and now he is able to use the math. “Before robotics class, if I wanted to design a project I designed it part by part. Now, I can think abstractly and design by how the robot sees. When I design one part, I have all the other parts in mind. Also, I know the equations and can calculate the values, so I don’t have to estimate or over engineer.”

One unique quality that students cherish is the fact that they are able to use their newfound knowledge to further their hobbies. Dyer is currently working on a home gardening project, which will include automated watering via drip irrigation with sensors that monitor the temperature and soil moisture. “The class and club projects are giving me the confidence to invest in myself and to automate my garden. From my phone, I will be able to turn

Immediate applicability outside of the classroom Peter Dyer, Collin Robotics Club president, is interested in sustain­ ability. He plans to earn a degree in electrical engineering and focus on power and energy. “My favorite part of the robotics class is the hands-on experience. I enjoy seeing how things work. We read the pings of the ultrasound sensors on the robot. The micro­ processor does the math and we use that information to code the robot. You learn a lot as you go, such as the fact that the carpet on the wall can dampen the ping. Ultimately, we drive the robot using a blue tooth connection and we directly control it in games of robot soccer,” he said. Dyer believes that many future engineers may be afraid of the highAllen Image x July 2013


on and off water from say, Atlanta, Georgia. I can get feedback on moisture content and know the plants are getting watered. This might even be a product that could be brought to market one day,” he said.

Students, the brains behind the machines Shaun Federspiel is planning to major in electrical engineering and computer science and earn a master’s degree in robotics engineering. He hopes to bring autonomous robots to everyday life and offer people help with mundane and repetitious tasks and the opportunity to invest more time in education. “People think you turn on the computer and magic happens, but someone sat down and programmed it. Most programs are C-based. Someone typed in a line of text which tells the computer what to do. They are starting to map the human brain, and we are close to creating smart

Shaun Federspiel and Abhinav Chennapareddy systems that are autonomous. Programming code is a language. It is like learning French; it has its own syntax. You are creating the brain structure of the robot while you are programming,” he said. Robots are a concrete, fun way for

students to express their ingenuity and put their skills to the test. One might even say they serve as a mechanical representation of art—albeit mobile, interactive works of art that perform cool tricks. “We each take our experiences and the robot is a manifestation of what we know about physics and science, but it is something that operates in the real world. I enjoyed the class because we had a set curriculum and requirements, but it wasn’t step by step, you do it this way. By the end, everybody’s robots were different. The class allowed for creativity. There was never a set path for each person,” he said. “Collin College let me observe my ideas at work. It allowed me to see that my ideas are possible—and probable,” Federspiel added. For more information about Collin College robotics classes visit www. c o l l i n . e d u / a c a d e m i c s / p ro g r a m s / electronicengineering.html. For more information about the Collin Robotics Club, visit v collin_robotics_club.html. Heather Darrow is a public information writer for Collin College. Photos by Nick Young, Collin College.

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For MarketPlace Your Health

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Wet and Wild in San Antonio by Deborah Dove

When it comes to local family vacation destinations (and by local I mean within a day’s drive), San Antonio is a perennial favorite of Texans. The Riverwalk, the Alamo, Sea World and Fiesta Texas top most vacationers’ list of “must-sees” in this unique city that blends old-world Mexican history with modern day fun. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I discovered the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. Friends have been telling me about the Hyatt Hill Country for years, but I had resisted staying there, mostly because it’s a little pricy (rates start around $289), and I liked staying on the Riverwalk. However, when my family’s plans for a more extravagant family vacation were derailed after my husband was in a motorcycle accident, we decided to revisit San Antonio and splurge on the Hyatt Hill Country. Having stayed there once, it may be hard to stay anywhere else.

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Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa The Hyatt Hill Country Resort occupies over 300 wooded acres with live oaks, wildflower meadows and nature trails—the hotel is a certified Audubon sanctuary—you can see more than 100 species of birds. If you don’t want to hike, a variety of bicycles and helmets can be borrowed at the Health Club to explore the grounds. The resort itself resembles a casually luxurious ranch house, with a limestone exterior, huge lobby with soaring ceilings and lots of leather seating and western details, a wide porch along the back with rocking chairs and rooms that are spacious with an elegant ranch feel and small balconies with views of the hotel grounds. A large green expanse of lawn behind the main building offers the perfect place for nightly family

movies, while a special kid’s area features a sand volleyball court, tetherball and a playground. The hotel also offers a plethora of family activities (many are free but some have a nominal fee) such as crafts and friendly competitions including scavenger hunts, hula hoop contests and family games such as kickball, squirt capture the flag and more. An activity sheet with the week’s activities is available upon check-in. Parents can enroll their kiddos ages 3-12 in Camp Hyatt, where counselors entertain he kids with crafts and activities while mom and dad enjoy the world-class Windflower spa or a game of golf on the 27-hole championship golf course. However, the pools are without a doubt what sold my family on this hotel. We didn’t visit the Texas shaped, adults-only pool but we did enjoy the activity pool, which has volleyball, basketball and plenty of pool chairs

under shade trees where mom and dad can relax while the kids play. Our favorite, however, was the Ramblin’ River, a 950-foot, natural looking “river” with just enough current to keep you moving past the lushly landscaped scenery. Inner tubes are readily available for a relaxed float along the river, which is refreshingly cold even during the heat of a Texas summer, although my kids enjoyed swimming in it as well. There are several points along the river where you can stop, including the activity pool, a wading pool and a sandy, man-made beach perfect for sunbathing and building sand castles.

During the evening on the beach— which is also accessible by land—the hotel provides s’mores fixings and a fire pit where guests can roast marshmallows. In May, the Hyatt Hill Country opened Edge Falls, a waterpark expansion, which includes

a 22-foot water slide and a FlowRider wave machine where guests can body board/boogie board, kneelboard or stand and surf. There are a variety of dining options on site, including a General Store where you can purchase quick

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breakfast items, sandwiches, pizza and snacks to keep your in-room refrigerator stocked. When we were reluctant to leave the pool and lazy river, Papa Ed’s Pool Bar & Grill was the perfect place to get sandwiches, nachos, burgers, fries and the like, or a frozen adult beverage to take along on the river. The Springhouse Café is a good, family-friendly choice

with breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, while the Antler ’s Lodge provides upscale dining with menu offerings such as bison tenderloin, venison and seafood. There is also the sports bar-like Cactus Oak Tavern near the golf course, Vince’s Watering Hole near the waterpark and Charlie’s Long Bar, an authentic Western saloon with a 56-foot copper topped bar, billiards, darts and snack foods. While you can’t beat the many on-site restaurants for convenience, food at the resort is not cheap. Luckily, there are also several restaurants close by, including McDonalds, Rudy’s Barbecue and several pizza delivery stores.

Sea World Although the Hyatt Hill Country is a destination resort where you could happily spend a long weekend without ever leaving the grounds, we made the most of our trip and combined our stay with a visit to Sea World, which is conveniently located across the street from the resort. Sea World also partners with the Hyatt Hill Country to offer park and hotel packages. Part amusement park and part aquarium, you can easily spend several days at Sea World, particularly if you go to Aquatica, the waterpark area featuring numerous activity and wave pools, a lazy river, tube and raft rides and slides, body slides and a stingray

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encounter area where guests can get in the water with stingrays to touch and feed them. Admission to Aquatica must be purchased and is in addition to a general admission ticket. If you don’t go to the water park, you can see most of Sea World in one day. The shows range from hilarious to awe-inspiring, with funny capers involving sea lion detectives, several shows featuring Shamu and other killer whales, and Azul—my favorite that features beluga whales, dolphins and amazing acrobat performers and divers. We also love the animal encounters—feeding the dolphins, seals and sea lions, the penguin exhibit and the 700,000-gallon shark tank. The highly anticipated show, Pets Ahoy, features the talents of dogs, cats, birds, rats, pot-belly pigs and a few surprise animal guest stars. Nearly all of these animals have been rescued from animal shelters. The park also incorporates a handful of rides, including three roller coasters—the Steel Eel and Great White for thrill seekers and the kidfriendly Shamu Express, the part roller coaster/part water ride Journey to Atlantis—and Rio Loco, a family river raft ride. For more information, visit www. and www. v Deborah Dove is a freelance writer from Allen.

For MarketPlace Your Health

Allen Image x July 2013



Put your best


By Dawn Bluemel Oldfield

I have a confession to make. I have a passion for footwear fashion. My husband would probably call it an obsession. He has six pairs of shoes (four too many in his opinion) to my fifty-seven pair (hey, I wear them all!). It’s been said we not only wear our hearts on our sleeves, we also wear them on our soles. I have shoes for every occasion. Worn out from working out, sturdy and water resistant for gardening, practical for work, versatile for travel, special for socializing, comfy for lounging and a few drop-dead gorgeous pairs I wish I had a place to wear! Fashion often reflects what is happening in the world around us. June Swann, a shoe historian from England is quoted to have said, “Shoes are a great indicator of how people are feeling.” If she is correct, what trends does this season hold in store for us? Linda Day, owner of Kick Up Your Heels (www. facebook. com/

KUYH1), a chic shoe boutique in historic downtown McKinney says, “Our philosophy is that a pair of shoes can change your life. When it comes to beautiful, stylish shoes, anything goes this season! Flats, heels, boots…there is something for everybody.” Savvy shoe shoppers know that women no longer have to sacrifice comfort for style. Linda shares, “Inside the industry, nationally and around the world, we are seeing designers put as much focus on comfort as they do style. Popular brands like Corkys, Grazies, Madeline, AKAb, Sanuk, Volatile and Yellow Box all now make footwear that is both chic and comfortable. Even brands like Clarks and Aerosole have come a long way from being thought of as a grandma shoe to a fashionable, high style shoe.” Jessica Sitter, store manager at KUYH says, “In Texas, country chic is always in style. Cowboy boots are a must have and are versatile enough to pair with any outfit. More refined silhouettes are also a trend that includes riding boots and tall shaft boots. You will see sparkling boot jewelry (an affordable accessory, like a necklace for your boots!), adorning boots of all styles.” Linda adds, “Boots have been

I want my handbags and shoes to be stylish but I want to make sure they are versatile.

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-Maria Sharipova

popular for the past few years and will continue to be this season. Boots of all styles will be in this year, including modern and feminine updates of the English classic— Wellingtons. Wellies are a fun boot to have! Don’t save them just for a rainy day. These boots are made for walking rain or shine.” Jessica adds, “Flats are truly timeless classics that are always flattering and attractive. Popular for every occasion in every season, flats are great for summer days and are cute with this seasons flirty summer fashions. Pair them with tights this fall and winter for cool weather style. Boot tights, a tight with a sock foot, are warmer and come in smart patterns, colors and textures. They make different height socks for different styles of boots.” In our southern climate, Texans can wear sandals and flip-flops nearly all year round, yet as summer winds down, Jessica shares, “We’ll see materials and attention to detail change as we transition into fall. Suedes, oily leathers, heavy burnishing and animal prints, snake skin and the mixing of brown and black are all going to be big this fall. Embellishments are big, and there will be a lot of detailing this season. It’s almost as if shoes are their own accessory! Darker colors will also lend to a seamless summer-to-fall transition.” Still want to wear your sandals, or aren’t quite ready for knee or thigh-high boots? Jessica advises, “You can’t go wrong with sandals or wedges that have a little more foot coverage, and are made of materials like leather or suede. Shooties, are a

shoe-bootie hybrid and come up to the ankle, but not above. These shoes lean more towards fall, but some styles will work for the in-between months. Other major trends we’ll see this year are shoes with rounded toes, platforms, shoes with heavy soles, and stacked heels, which give the illusion that the heel is made up of several thin

layers of wood. Ankle boots, or booties are in, as well as smoking slippers—the edgy boyish alternative to the ballet slipper.” Jessica smiles, “Smoking slippers originated in the 1800’s, and people of wealth wore them around home when they were entertaining. It was considered a shoe for the well-to-do! They are very comfortable and

stylish, and today are a shoe for everyone and any event.” As summer turns to fall, revel in a little shoe shopping therapy. Take the first step and clear your closet of shoes your feet hate you for. Then run, don’t walk, to a shoe store near you. Replace those outdated and uncomfortable shoes with luxurious sensibility. Your tootsies will thank you! v Dawn Bluemel Oldfield is a freelance writer. Allen Image x July 2013


family life

Children and play by Jennifer Slingerland Ryan Ten-year old Adam was brought to counseling after his mom noticed he had trouble adjusting to his new life in the Lone Star state. The family had to make an unexpected move, and although it seemed like Adam would be fine at first, his behavior soon began to change. Adam was a bubbly, happy boy who became sad and soft-spoken. He also gained weight and could no longer concentrate in school. He even became a victim of bullying and he wouldn’t stick up for himself. Worse still, it has been a year since the move, but Adam is still having a hard time with the transition. And as a 10-year-old kid, he doesn’t have the words to articulate his feelings to his parents. At Adam’s first counseling

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session, he was introduced to play therapy. When he noticed all the toys

in the room—the play kitchen, dressup clothes, sand box and dart board— he perked up and said, “You mean I don’t have to talk?” “Only if you want to,” the counselor answered. Over the next several months, Adam drew, painted, played board games and told stories. What he didn’t know was that, while he was playing, he was communicating about the problems in his life. Play therapy works with children like traditional talk therapy with adults. Except with most children, they haven’t yet developed the verbal and cognitive skills to communicate their feelings and thoughts with words. On the other hand, children are extremely imaginative and creative. So play therapy lets them express themselves in a way that feels natural, safe, and comfortable. Parents often ask what they can do to help facilitate the same environment at home with their kids. This is great, because we think parents are the best counselors for their kids! Here are some things that you, as a parent, can do to encourage the use of play at home as a tool for

communication and healthy ex­­ pression of emotions: 1. Allow your children to be creative while playing. Give them the power to decide what and how they want to play. Remember, how they play can tell you a lot about how they’re feeling, even when they can’t verbally express themselves. 2. Create a safe environment for your child. This allows them to feel comfortable when expressing their thoughts and feelings. 3. Pay attention to your child’s playful clues, which will help you interpret what their play may symbolize. Remember, don’t over-analyze. Just like adults sometimes want to “talk it out,“ children often want to “play it out” so playing may be all they need to blow off steam! 4. Be comfortable allowing your child to express his feelings. Many parents limit their child’s expression of feelings simply because they feel uncomfortable with what their children may say (or do!). Often, what your child doesn’t express is far worse than what he or she does express. 5. Always be patient with your

child. Children are great at picking up on both spoken and unspoken rules and feelings. If your child senses your lack of patience, disinterest, or lack of attention, they are more likely to not open up to you about how they are feeling. Through these techniques, chil­ dren learn to identify and express feelings appropriately. Putting feeling words—angry, frustrated, embarrassed and left out—to actions is a major goal of play therapy. So, what happened to Adam, our

reason for talking about play therapy? At the end of our time together— nearly a year—Adam has come out of his shell. He learned how to stand up to bullies, do better in school and even asked his mom if he could join the neighborhood baseball team. Adam is no longer depressed. He is on his way to becoming a happy, well-adjusted child. v Jennifer Slingerland Ryan is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Allen at I Choose Change.

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pet page

“Moto” Moto is a four-year-old male Chihuahua/ dachshund mix who is super sweet and looking real hard for his forever home. He is so incredibly adorable you’ll just want to cuddle with him. He already knows his manners because he was raised in a home. He is housebroken and does well if left home alone. He is also crate trained if you need him to be. When you are home or at night Moto loves to be snuggled up tight. He also loves to run and play and go for walks. He just needs to be cuddled if you take him for a ride.

Won’t you give Moto his forever home? Moto is such an amazing little guy and he will love you through and through. He just needs a family who will love him forever!!! Will you?

Moto is current on vaccinations, heartworm negative, neutered, current on heartworm prevention and microchipped. He gets along great with cats, dogs and people of all shapes and sizes! Adopt him today…just fill out an application at http://www.collincountyhumanesociety. org/adoption-application.html. 4 4 w w w. a l l e n i m a g e . c o m

For MarketPlace Your Health

Allen Image x July 2013


calendar JuNE


Market Street Allen USA Celebration presented by Texas Health Allen. Allen’s largest and most spectacular community event features entertainment from Radio Disney Live!, the Emerald City Band and headliner Dennis DeYoung, performing the music of the band, STYX! The Kids Zone hosts a multitude of fun things for children to enjoy and the Community Stage provides entertainment by some of Allen’s young talents including the Heidi Zettl Band, The Indecision and the Kassy Levels Band. Blues artist Joey Love also will perform. Of course, you can always count on one of the largest and most magnificent fireworks displays in North Texas lighting up the sky following the concert. Call 972.912.1097 or visit for details.


Kaboom Town, 5 p.m, 4970 Addison Circle Dr., Addison. Food, music, kid’s activities including rock climbing, giant slide, fun inflatables, sand art, free movie, an obstacle course and the Addison Airport Air Show featuring the Cavanaugh Flight Museum Warbird Flyover. The dazzling 30-minute fireworks show is choreographed to music and a live radio simulcast on 100.3 JACK FM. This event is free. Visit events/kaboomtown/ for futher details. Star Spangled Spectacular with the Plano Community Band, 7 pm, Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th St., Plano. This patriotic concert is free so bring a blanket or chairs to enjoy the sounds of freedom with friends and family. For event details, visit


Plano Independence Day Parade and Community Celebration, 9 am, Independence Pkwy. Between 15th St. & Parkhaven, 9:30 pm, Plano’s sky will light up with fireworks at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. Listen to music choreographed to display on KLAK 97.5. Bring a blanket and enjoy the free show. Picnic baskets are welcome or purchase items from vendors on site. Visit for more information. Red, White & Boom, activities for the entire family. A full day of free hometown fun. 10 am, hometown parade & 1 pm, car show, Downtown McKinney. Then head to Craig Ranch soccer complex at 7 pm for the family festival, live music and firework show at 9:45 pm. WRR will provide “Sounds of America’ on a live simulcast during the fireworks on Classical 101.1. Be sure to tune in as you watch the McKinney fireworks show beginning at 9:45 p.m. Visit our website www. for details.




Dallas Summer Musicals presents Flashdance, The Musical, thru the 7th, Music Hall at Fair Park, in Dallas. This new musical features a score of smash hits including “FlashdanceWhat a Feeling,“ “Maniac,” “I Love Rock & Roll” and 16 original songs. For more information, visit www. 4 6 w w w. a l l e n i m a g e . c o m

McKinney Repertory Theatre’s Young Actors Guild presents Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Fri. & Sat., 7:30 pm, Sat. & Sun., 2:30 pm, thru the 14th, McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee. The play’s title characters and audience get a brief existential look at life and death in this tragicomedy. For information, visit www. McKinney Summer Musicals presents Fiddler on the Roof, July 13-14 and 18-21, at McKinney North High School, 2550 Wilmeth Road, McKinney. For tickets and performance times, visit

CITY OF ALLEN Allen Event Center Tickets on sale now through Ticketmaster (, charge by phone at 800.745.3000 or at the Allen Event Center Box Office. For more information, visit www.alleneventcenter. com. 2-7 Miss Texas Pageant. The 78th Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant culminates with the crowning of Miss Texas 2013. Produced by the Miss Texas Organization, the Miss Texas competition exists for the purpose of providing personal and professional opportunities for young Texas women and promoting their voice in culture, politics and community. 27 Allen City Blues Festival. More than a dozen acts are set to grace two stages throughout the day and into the evening. Main Stage acts will include Eric Johnson, Billy Cox Band of Gypsys Experience, the Wanda King All Star Revue Band featuring Joey Love, Griff Hamlin & The Circle City Horns, Kirby Kelley and The Peterson Brothers Band. The Guitar Sanctuary Stage will offer the Maylee Thomas Band, Grady Yates featuring Milo Deering and Brady Mosher, Nick and the Nighthawks, The Alex Dowidchuk Trio Featuring Thomas Dawson, Special Guests and featured

performances from The Guitar Sanctuary Performance Academy.

Parks and Recreation Events 12 Family Night at Ford Pool. Come join us once a month for family night at Ford Pool from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.! It’s an evening of food, fun and family time, as we keep the pool open late and take care of supper so you can enjoy the evening as a family. Early registration is available at the DRN. Each paid guest will receive a concessions coupon SNAP Dance, 7-10 pm, Recreation Hall. Special Needs Adapted Program! Dances feature live music, a fun and creative theme, snacks and photo. For information, email or call 214.509.4707. 13 Family Night at The Edge Skatepark and Visitors Center. This is an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy the skate park from 6 to 8 p.m. Children must be accompanied by at least one parent to gain entrance to the park. 14 Community Wide Garage Sale. Join us for a community wide garage sale at Joe Farmer Recreation Center where a wide variety of treasures are for sale at great prices. Browsing is free so come down to buy that perfect find for a bargain price! Make

some extra money selling the items you were thinking of throwing away when cleaning out your garage, storage shed or house. (Each space is 17’ X 10’. Vendors must provide their own tables and chairs). 27 Allen City Championship at The Courses at Watters Creek. A tournament will be held at Allen’s new, premier golf venue to crown the best in Allen. Registration is open to Allen residents only and includes tickets to the Allen City Blues Festival at Allen Event Center that same day. For more information and to register, call 214.509.4653. 31 Hillside Park Information Session. Allen’s newest park is set to open in late July during National Parks and Recreation Month. Hillside Park will be adjacent to the Blue Sky Sports Center at 950 E. Main St. Hillside Park will feature exercise stations, benches, picnic tables, a water fountain, walking paths and a concave pavilion that contributes to its unique look and focus on adult exercise and recreation. An information session will be hosted by the Allen Senior Recreation Center with a presentation from some of the folks behind the design. For more info: 972.912.1097 or www.

Allen Image x July 2013


Adult Athletic Leagues Softball, Kickball, Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer and Hockey—Early registration is open through July for Fall leagues. For more info: or call the Athletic Information Hotline: 214.509.4810. For Allen Community Ice Rink programs, call 972.912.1097.

ALLEN PUBLIC LIBRARY Children Storytime Schedule Through Aug. 1.

Baby and Me—For pre-walkers with an adult. Tues. & Thurs., 10:15 am. Fun Ones—Age 1 year with an adult, Mon., 10:15 am & Wed., 10 am. Together Time—Ages 2 & 3 with an adult, Mon., Tues. & Thurs., 11:15 am, Wed., 10:45 am. All by Myself—Ages 4 & 5, Wed., 11:30 am. Pajama Storytime—Ages 2-6 & family, Tues., 6:30 pm & Thurs., 7 pm.

Auditorium Programs Recommended for ages 3+ Family Movie, Craft & Sing-along—Lion King, 2:30 pm. 8 David Slick, 2:30 & 3:45 pm. Free tickets will be handed out 30 minutes before each show. 22 Dinosaur George, 2:30 & 3:45 pm. Free tickets will be handed out 30 minutes before each show. 29 Sci-Tech Discovery Center: Machine Called Me, 2:30 & 3:45 pm. Free tickets will be handed out 30 minutes before each show. 1

Events for Little Ones (ages 3+) 20 Bubble Day! 10 am, Children’s Program Room. 23 All About Fish! 3 pm. Feed the library fish, enjoy crafts and more, Children’s Program Room. 25 Crafternoon, 2 30 pm., Children’s Program Room.

Events for Younger Children (5-8) 11 Magic Tree House Club, 4 pm, Children’s Program Room. 16 Minute to Win it Games, 3:30 pm, Children’s Program Room. Bring your family and test your skills! 18 Magic Tree House Club, 4 pm, Children’s Program Room. 19 Game Day, 2:30 pm, Children’s Program Room. 26 Video Games Live, 2 pm, Children’s Program Room. Enjoy live action versions of Angry Birds, Minecraft, and more. 30 Sew Exciting, 4 pm, Children’s Program Room.

Events for Older Children (age 9-12) 3

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beTWEEN the lines, 3 pm, Children’s Program Room. This



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month’s genre is fantasy. Share your favorite magical books and enjoy some tasty treats. Young Authors, 3 pm, Children’s Program Room. Are you the next Rick Riordan? Let’s Build a Fort! 2 pm, Children’s Program Room. Stop by the library and help us build the biggest fort ever! Candy Science, 3 pm, Children’s Program Room. Duct Tape Creations, 3 pm, Children’s Program Room. Come make fun and functional works of art out of duct tape! Spa Day, 3 pm, Children’s Program Room. Create your own spa essentials to take home!

Events for Tweens & Teens (ages 9-18) Shrinky Dink Art & Jewelry, 2 pm, Upstairs Program Room. Try your hand at making shrinky dinks! We’ll have supplies on hand for turning your miniature works of art into wearables. 20 Soda Tab Bracelets, 2 pm, Upstairs Program Room. Stop by the library and create some cool bracelets out of soda tabs and beads! 25 Video Games Live! 2 pm, Downstairs Meeting Room. Do you like Angry Birds, Minecraft or Legend of Zelda? 6

Events for Teens (ages 12-18) 11 Cupcake Design Battle! 2 & 6:30 pm, Upstairs Program Room. Who will create the best cupcake? Will it be you? 13 Pirates vs. Ninjas, 2 pm, Upstairs Program Room. Which are cooler, Pirates or Ninjas? Who will win the battle? 18 Mortal Instruments, 2 pm, Upstairs Program Room. Read the books? Can’t wait for the movie? Then stop by the library and spend some time in the City of Bones. 18 Design Your Own, 6:30 pm, Downstairs Meeting Room. Let your creative side out! 25 An Anime Filled Evening, 6:30 pm, Upstairs Program Room. Come watch anime, eat some Japanese snacks and create your own, one-ofa-kind felt plushie. 27 Comic Designs, noon, Upstairs Program Room. Join manga artist Kristen McGuire as she demonstrates drawing techniques and offers tips and tricks for comic and manga art.

Adults 9

2nd Tuesday Chess Night, 7-8:30 pm, 2nd Floor Program Room. Ages 16 – Adult, open chess play for teens and adults of all skill levels in a fun, noncompetitive setting. Free

program. No registration required. Newcomers welcome. Chess boards and pieces will be provided. Call 214.509.4913. 10 Twisted Threads Fiber Craft Circle, 6:30-8:30 pm, 2nd floor Adult 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. 16 DIY@APL—Folded Scrapbooks, 7-8:30 p.m., July 17, 10:30-noon (repeat program), 2nd floor program room. Adults age 18+. No children, please. Learn how to make a folded scrapbook in a fun, relaxed environ­ ment with other adults. All materials will be supplied. Register online at, or call 214-509-4913. Walk-ins welcome as space permits. 18 Talking History—Ordinary People Who Did Extraordinary Things, 7 pm, 2nd floorprogram room. What many people know and understand about war and its effects originates from popular sources. These sources often focus on the results or those most decorated, omitting the stories

of men and women who served their country bravely but without fanfare. Audie Murphy’s biopic To Hell and Back provides a backdrop for a discussion of war, memory, and an analysis of how the realitie of war compare and contrast with public memory, presented by Dr. Eric Gruver and student Hayley Hasik, both of Texas A&M–Commerce. Registration is required. Register online at or contact the Reference Desk at 214509-4905. 24 Meet CCI puppies-in-training to find out how CCI uses dogs to assist those with disabilities, presented by Canine Companions for Independence® (CCI), 12-1pm., 2nd floor program room. 30 Armchair Travelers Visit Syria and Lebanon with Matt Morgan, 7 pm, 2nd floor Adult Program Room. Matt Morgan will share stories, pictures, and anecdotes from his time in Syria and Lebanon. Syrianinspired refreshments will be served. There’s no charge, however, registration is required. For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 214-509-4905. Adult Summer Reading 10-Aug 4 “Marvelous” Summer Adventures. Age 18+ with a valid Allen Library card. Must complete 5

items to be eligible for Kindle drawing, at least 1 item for gift card drawings. All drawings take place August 5. Tote bags and book given upon turn in of reading log while supplies last. Call the Reference Desk for more information, 214-509-4905.

Watters Creek Concerts by the Creek, 7 pm. 4 6 13 20 27

Good N Gone, Country Briefcase Blues, Blues White Noise, Classic Rock & 80’s Good Question Band, Country Southern Chrome, Country

Connemara Conservancy

Connemara Meadow Preserve 6


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. Astronomy Walk, 9-11 pm, Connemara Meadow Preserve. Join Clyde Camp for an Astronomy walk. Meet at the Suncreek Park circular

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parking lot at 9 pm sharp and walk to the meadow the back way. For more info: www.connemaraconservancy. org. 28 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.

CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS City of Allen offers a variety of affordable recreational classes and programs. Register at Joe Farmer Rec Center, 214.509.4750 or Rodenbaugh Natatorium, 214.509.4770. For more info: Allen Early Childhood PTA, support for parents and caregivers of preschoolers. A new calendar each month with fun activities for all. Activities—play groups, park days, lunch with friends, field trips, Mom’s Night Out, Dads & Kids, and other events. Come play with us. For more info: or information@ Heart Link Women’s Networking group, women only business networking. Monthly meetings—days & locations vary. For more info: http://75002. Baylor Health Care System offers support groups, medical information and events. For more info: MOMS Club of Allen, New group for moms and children who live in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Monthly playgroups, kid field trips and local business tours, special events, Mom’s Night Out and more. For more info: http://momsclubofallentx. or momsclubofallentx@ 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: MckinneyMoms@yahoo. com. Divorce Care, 13-week courses—biblical teaching for recovering from divorce. For more info: Kim Tedford: 214.544.8050 ext. 109, ktedford@ or www. 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. Urban Explorers, laid back, fun, diverse social group with meetups

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throughout Dallas area. Something for everyone! For more info: getoutandabout. Plano Bicycle Association, club rides, social activities, monthly meetings, newsletters. For more info: Chris Mathews, 972.964.2869 or Texas Health Presbyterian, a variety of events. For more info: Kids Helping Kids, bring new or gentlyused toys to Kids Pediatric Dentistry, donate to kids in the area. Receive chance to win prize. For more info: 972.727.0011 or www. 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. Every Monday Allen Toastmasters’ Club, 6:30 pm, Allen Train Depot, 100 E. Main, Allen. Guests welcome. For more info: Joe Nave at 214.566.3100. Allen Symphony Chorus rehearsals, 7-9 pm, choir room at First UMC. For more info: Henry@ Ericsson Village Toastmasters Club, 12-1 pm, Ericsson, 6300 Legacy, Plano. Guests welcome For more info: Per Treven, 972.583.8273 or 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: Preston Persuaders Toastmasters, 7:15 pm, Custer Road United Methodist Church, Rm B2, 6601 Custer Rd, Plano. For more info: Ed Meissner, 469-3230538 or Todd Richardson, 214.497.4495 or Every Monday, Thursday & Saturday Allen AA meets, 601 S. Greenville. For more info: 972-359-7383. Second Monday

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: www.allenfairviewchamber. com. McKinney Ladies Association (SRLA), 7 pm. Various locations and service projects monthly. For more info:

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 Heard Museum Collin County Hobby Beekeepers, 7 pm, Heard Craig Center, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566 or www. Collin County Early Childhood PTA, 9:45 am, Parkway Hills Baptist Church, 2700 Dallas Pkwy., Plano. Nursery res. req. For more info: Suzanne Judkins, 972.712.3634.

Sons of Confederate Veterans, William H. L. Wells Camp, No. 1588, 7 pm, Tino’s Too Restaurant, 2205 Ave. K, Plano. Speakers, school programs, etc. Open to anyone interested. For more info: Lloyd Campbell, 972.442.5982. Third Monday Plano Amateur Radio Klub, 7 pm, all welcome. For more info: Collin County Aggie Moms, 7 pm, Texas A&M Ext. Center, Coit between Bush Tollway & Campbell. For more info: 972.382.3124 or www. 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. Allen Retired Educators, 10:30 am, Heritage Ranch Country Club, 465 Scenic Ranch Circle, Fairview. For more info: or RSVP: Jerri Caldronia@ Fourth Monday Legacy 4-H Club (Allen and Lucas), 7 pm, Lovejoy High School, Lucas. For more info: kathrin_esposito@asus. com or 214.616.2460. Allen Seniors Genealogy Club, 1 pm, Allen Seniors Center. Must be a member of ASRC. For more info: or Richard Henry, 972.390.7402. Texas Democratic Women of Collin County meets at 6:45 pm, Collin College, Frisco campus, Rm F148. For more info: or Barb Walters, 214.477.5183. Plano Photography Club, 7 pm, Grace Presbyterian Church, 4300 W. Park Blvd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.

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/ $7 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: 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 www. Toastmasters Creative Expressions, 11:15 am- 12:30 pm. Raytheon, McKinney. Guests welcome. 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 Every Tuesday & Thursday 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 Common Threads of Allen, 7 pm, Saxby’s, 150 E. Stacy Road, Villages at Allen. 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. 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. Plano Pacers run at Schimelpfenig Library parking lot, 5024 Custer, in Plano, 7 pm. For more info: Allen Image x July 2013


Blackland Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, 7 to 9 pm, Heard Museum, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. Visitors welcome. For more info: or email Collin County ADD/LD Parent Support Group of Collin County, 7-9 pm, parlor, First United Methodist Church, 601 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. For more info: Shirli Salter, sscaroline@ Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano, 9:30 am refreshments, 10 am program, Collin College Courtyard Center, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano. Guests are welcome! For more info: www.newcomerfriends. org. Collin County Archaeology Society, 7 pm, Texas Star Bank, McKinney. For more info: Third Tuesday Plano Republican Women’s Club, 11:30 am, Southfork Hotel, 1600 N. Central Expwy., Plano. For more info: www. Allen-Frisco-Plano Autism Spectrum Parents Group provides support & resources for parents of children with autism & related developmental disabilities. Join online group at http://health.groups. autismparentsupport. Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR, The General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter meets Aug.-May. For more McKinney Area Newcomers’ Club, welcomes new residents, 9:30 am, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 W. Virginia Pkwy., McKinney. Clarice Marshall, native Texan and retired teacher, presents “Diamond in Dallas” featuring the Dallas Arboretum. For more info: www. Fourth Tuesday Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon and speaker, 11:30 am-1 pm. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: www. Heard Museum Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society meets at 7 pm, One 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.

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Every Wednesday Allen Rotary Club, noon, Courtyard by Marriot, 210 East Stacy Rd. For more info: Toastmasters SpeakUp Allen, “Become the Speaker and Leader you can be”, 7 pm, Market Street, 985 W. Bethany Drive, Allen. For more info: Marlene Byndon, 816.456.6803. Allen Sunrise Rotary Club, 7 am, Twin Creeks Hospital, 1001 Raintree Circle. For more info: 972.673.8221 or www. 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 First Wednesday Art History Brown Bag Series, 12:30-1:30 pm, Heard-Craig Carriage Hosue, 205 W. Hunt St., McKinney. Lectures presented by Annie Royer. Bring lunch. For more info: 972.569.6909 or www. 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 Allen Heritage Guild, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St, 6:30 pm. For more info: 972.740.8017 or www. 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. Second Wednesday Collin County Genealogical Society, 7 pm, Haggard Library, 2501 Coit Rd, Plano. For more info: ccgs.programs@gmail. com. 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, Twin Creeks Clubhouse, 501 Twin Creeks Blvd. Visitors welcome. For more info: Sandy McNair, 214.548.5483 or Allen Classic Cars, 7-10 pm, 103-111 N. Central, parking lot of Chipotle and Stacy Furniture. Allen Image x July 2013


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: Community 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 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. 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. First 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: North Dallas Newcomers, 11 am., social time, various locations. For more info: www. 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 www.allengardenclub. org. Second Thursday Legal Aid Clinic, 6 pm, First United Methodist Church. For more info: or 1.888.529.5277. 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, Community Education Rm-Medical Office Bldg. 2. For more info: 972.747.6036.

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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. For more info: Lovejoy Preschool PTA. Monthly general meetings at Creekwood United Methodist Church, 261 Country Club Road, Fairview. Different topic and guest speakers each month. Lunch provided free and babysitting available for nominal fee. A list of speakers is available on website. 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: www.AllenAreaPatriots. com. Third Thursday Xtra Years of Zest Seniors Luncheon, noon, First United Methodist Church Allen, 601 S. Greenville, Fellowship Hall. Lunch and fellowship. Speakers and entertainers. For more info: Cancer Support Ministry, 7 pm, First Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E101. For more info: James Craver, 972.727.8241. Knights of Columbus, 7:30 pm, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville, Allen. For more info: Steve Nagy, 469.569.3357 or Collin County Republican Men’s Club, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: Live @ 5 Business After Hours, 5-6:30 pm at various member businesses. Free. For more info: www. Allen Quilters’ Guild, 6:30 pm, First 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.

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. 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. Meet new people. For more info: voyagersofmckinney@ Every Other Thursday North Texas Referral Group, 11:45 am, Friday’s (121 & Preston). For more info: Every Friday Allen Senior Rec Center Dances, 1-3 pm. Ages 50+. Members free/Nonmember 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), non-denominational 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 the community, no res. required. For more info: 972.727.8241 or Eddie Huckabee at Every Saturday McKinney Chess Club, 10:30 am1:30 pm, McKinney Public Library, 101 E Hunt St. Any age. Free. For more info: 972.547.7491. First Saturday 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, One 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 local 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. There is no charge to attend. Low cost child care is available. For more info: or 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: cynannrobinson@gmail. com.

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

For a chance to win a $50 dining card. Allen Image x July 2013


For Your Health

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For Your Health

Allen Image x July 2013


cover story Born in Arkansas and raised in Naples, Texas, Tom attended Southern State College in Magnolia, Arkansas, for 3 years. Originally there on a football scholarship, a knee injury his first year forced him to leave the team his sophomore year. The fourth year he attended North Texas State University. While at Southern State he met Sharon and the two married in 1968. After graduating from the University of Texas Dental School in Houston, the Brians moved to Allen and opened a dental office on East Main Street in 1975. The couple soon became active members of First United Methodist Church of Allen, serving on a number of boards and chairing many of them. When the Rotary Club of Allen was chartered in 1978, Tom was a founding member. A 1991 mission trip to La Moskitia (Moskito Coast) of Honduras proved to be the turning point for Tom. Tom also went on mission trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru, but it was the overwhelming poverty of the Moskito people that compelled him to return to this isolated region. “That’s where I saw the most need,” Tom explains. “They get ignored because there are no roads there and they are cut off.” Located in the far eastern Honduran state of Gracios a Dios, La Moskitia can only be reached by airplane or boat. At first, Tom traveled to several villages in La Moskitia to provide free dental work. This required additional travel via an eight-hour boat trip down the Coco River with passengers often needing to get out and walk, toting heavy boxes of supplies. Tom eventually focused his free dental services on the villages near the secluded community of Puerto Lempira. Tom recalls, “In 1991, there was no telephone service or television in Puerta Lempira, and they only had electricity from six o’clock to ten

o’clock at night. The electrical generator was owned by a man who had a little hotel there, and some of the people bought the electricity from him.” A year later, a satellite dish for telephones was set up, but it did little to improve service. For those early years, Tom could only reach Sharon or other U.S. resources via ham radio. Recently a cell phone tower was erected in Puerto Lempira and electricity is now available to more people for most of the day—but not always. Recalling his first dental mission to Honduras, Tom laments, “I started out just pulling teeth and had to pull the front teeth of these two young ladies because they had decay in them. But I didn’t want to pull teeth that could be saved!” For his second trek to Honduras, he and ten other volunteers secured the necessary supplies, including an air compressor and generator, to do fillings. Of the 20 pieces of luggage in tow, only 7 made it out of the United States. The rest were stolen, and again Tom had no choice but to pull teeth. The one blessing that resulted from that catastrophe came in the form of a $25,000 insurance check that was quickly deposited into a new mission account. By 1995, the Brians recognized the need for a formal non-profit organization and Send Hope was born. That same year, Tom met 11-yearold Walter in La Moskitia. At age 3, the boy had broken his leg falling from a tree and five years later the still unhealed wound became infected. When Tom and Walter became acquainted three years later, the bone was still infected. Tom and Sharon brought him to Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. Walter had to return to Texas two more times to complete his medical treatment, living with the Brians for a total of 5 years. His treatment required that his thigh be fused to his hip, leaving him with a permanent limp.

With sustenance farming being the primary occupation in La Moskitia, Tom knew this impairment meant Walter needed a good education to find a job. To make that happen, the Brians arranged for Walter to move from his isolated village to his aunt’s home in Puerto Lempira. The Brian’s paid the aunt $80 a month for his room and board. Yet when they returned to Honduras the couple discovered Walter and another cousin were living unsupervised in a oneroom shack. No aunt was there and Walter was failing many of his classes. Walter wasn’t the only child with limiting disabilities in La Moskitia. Among the more common Tom has seen are clubfoot, missing tibias in either one or both legs, and cleft palates. Early on, a grant from the Rotary Club allowed for a number of children to be transported to Scottish Rite for treatment. CURE International’s two-doctor charitable pediatric hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, opened in 2004, greatly eased this financial burden. Repairing impairments was only part of the solution and Tom decided that building a children’s home was the obvious next step. House of Hope was completed in 2005. With each trip to Honduras, Tom returned home with more tales of adventures and needs begging to be fulfilled. Soon others became interested in this dentist’s mission work and wanted to help. Some wrote checks and others traveled to Puerto Lempira. One notable family is Mike and Marilyn Tucker and their twin daughters Meagan and Lindsey. Mike first traveled with Tom and another local volunteer Randy Moore to Puerto Lempira nine years ago to start building House of Hope. “We were there for nine days and, with eight or nine local men, were able to dig out and put down the foundation and start the walls that were three cinderblocks high,” Mike recalls. Mike has since returned to the Allen Image x July 2013


Chelma with the Tucker family. region for nine summers and twice for one summer. After his first trip, Marilyn and their daughters tagged along to help. “Chelma came to our family shortly after my first visit,”’ Mike explains. “A Scottish Rite doctor had

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traveled down the summer before and repaired her club feet, but the operation was not successful. The doctor said if we could get her a visa and get her up to Scottish Rite, he could make the corrections on her feet.” For almost a year, the then 2-year-

old Chelma lived with the Tuckers while undergoing the repairs. When the work was completed, Chelma returned to her family in Honduras. When the Tuckers returned to Puerto Lempira the following summer, they learned Chelma had been living with her grandmother who was also raising 12 other grandchildren by herself. “The grandmother said we could have her, but we didn’t have the legal right,” Mike continues. “So we asked Tom if she could stay at House of Hope, and she did stay there for about six years.” Mike notes that Chelma spoke fluent English because of her year with his family and she stepped into the role of ambassador for American’s visiting House of Hope. Because her skills in the Moskito dialect and Spanish were not as honed, she quickly fell behind at the village school she attended. Wanting to see Chelma succeed, Send Hope and the Tuckers were able to acquire a five-year educational visa for her. Mike emphasizes, “Usually

ining in

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Honduras doesn’t give elementary education visas, so this is evidence that God has his hand in this.” Chelma arrived back at the Tucker home three years ago and was enrolled in Willow Bend Academy in Plano. Tom notes that obtaining her visa required them to secure an I-20 form that can only be given by private schools, so placing Chelma in the Allen School District was not an option. After three years, the now sixthgrade Chelma has caught up in her studies. When queried as to what the Moskito girl will choose to do when her five-year visa expires, Mike replies, “We are leaving that up to Chelma. She is very happy where she is right now but we ask her about it often because we don’t want to take her away from her roots.” Mike also points out that working with Send Hope had a significant influence on his daughters’ career choices. Lindsey is now studying nursing in Tyler and Meagan is completing her degree in community development at Texas A&M. Retired four years ago as the director of store interior design for JC Penney, Mike also offers his assistance to Send Hope locally as well. Much of this work involves Send Hope’s nutrition program through Kids Against Hunger, an effort of Feeding Children International. Tom explains that this program was added to Send Hope’s work after witnessing the countless devastating effects of malnutrition in the Moskito villages. “I had seen little ones so malnourished that their skin looked like that of an old person,” he sighs. “The hospital puts them on an IV and once they’re healthy enough, they send them to us. We feed them and get them really healthy. Some stay with us permanently and some go back to their parents if they want them and can afford to feed them. We are feeding about 200 malnourished babies a month and spend $500 a month just for formula.” Tom shares an account of a mother with 11 children and none of the

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Tom Brian with volunteers to load the truck. fathers being physically or financially respon­sible for their welfare—an alltoo-frequent scenario in this impoverished region. “There were twins brought in and one of them died,” he recounts. “The mother would come get milk for the babies but she was dividing it up with the other children in the family.” In response to this problem, the Allen Kiwanis Club teamed up with Kids Against Hunger to form a satellite group to aid Send Hope. Developed in Minnesota, the Kids Against Hunger non-profit organi­ zation creates six-serving packages of a nutrient-dense casserole comprised of rice, soy, and dehydrated vegetables, enriched with an essential vitamin and mineral powder. This project soon became Sharon’s bailiwick and has blossomed.

In mid-May, the Brian’s had 1,000 boxes of Kids Against Hunger meals stored at their home awaiting pickup and delivery to La Moskitia. Each of the boxes contains 36 6-serving sacks. Almost half of these were filled during a Change the World weekend at First United Methodist Church of Allen with a number of area service organizations assisting. “We packed 91,800 meals and it liked to kill me!” Tom laughs. Tom emphasizes that many other North Texas groups have sponsored days to fill sacks and pack boxes for the Kids Against Hunger project. “I think the Presbyterian kids in Sherman packed about 400 boxes,” he notes. “The groups that pack buy the ingredients. It’s like 25 cents a meal and that covers the shipping. ”Other than the rice, all packaging and

ingredients are ordered from the Minnesota-based organization. The growth of Send Hope meant the need for additional help, and for each need an answer was provided. Describing herself as a “surrogate mother,” Katrina Engle has managed the House of Hope for the orphans and disabled and/or malnourished children in the region since its opening. In 1990, a then-19-year-old Katrina arrived in La Moskitia to live and work with a missionary family. A plane accident in 1993 required her to come back to the United States, where she met and married Roger Engle and had two sons, Roger and Christian. The family returned to Honduras in 1997, settling in Puerta Lempira in 2000 to run a small clinic and pharmacy. The couple soon offered a permanent home to first a local boy, Selvin, and later a girl, Victoria. Graduating as a Honduran Licensed Practical Nurse, Katrina began volunteering at the local hospital. “I started to collect children from the pediatric ward, “ she shares. “Children who were at risk for infection at the hospital, malnourished children and children with burns would come to stay with us until they were better. ”Katrina also hunted down nonprofit medical organizations that provided surgical treatment for children with disabilities.

Tom Brian with one of the Honduran children, Rodrigo. Katrina recalls meeting Tom in 2001when he began providing assistance for the children she was helping. “I had about 12 children in my home, including my then three, and Tom mentioned that he wanted to open a children’s home where the handicapped children we were collecting could live and continue their education. “I explained that I felt running a children’s home was the purpose God had sent me to La Moskitia for in the first place and I would love to be a part of that vision,” Katrina continues. That dream came to fruition when the 16-bedroom, eight bathroom House of Hope opened in 2005, with Mama Miriki (the moniker the children dubbed

Katrina that means “American mother”) keeping things running smoothly. Two years later, retired cardi­ ologist Dr. Marianne Serkland arrived to offer her medical expertise. “She was helping a group from Minnesota called International Health Service and decided to move [to Honduras],” Tom states. “So we asked her if she wanted to help us.” Because the local school was not accessible for many of the Send Hope children, the next building project for Tom was the two-classroom school built in 2006. Today, plans are now being made to build four more classrooms and convert the original school to boys housing. In 2007, the Guest House for

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Walter with his award and the President of Honduras. visiting missionaries and volunteers was completed. After operating out of an 18-wheeler for several years, the dental clinic and three storage rooms were constructed in 2008. Today, Tom estimates that the home currently houses 35 permanent children and 10 temporary children, with 50 children attending the school. In addition, 200 malnourished babies and 800 to 1,000 underfed children are provided much needed nutrientrich food. Another recent achievement for Tom is bringing Habitat for Humanity to La Moskitia. The organization was in Honduras but because of the inaccessibility of this region and the expense of delivering materials, no housing projects had been started there. Initially approaching the Dallas Habitat for Humanity for assistance in getting better housing for the people in this isolated area, Tom had to round up three confirmed Habitat for Humanity teams from the United States as well as secure support from the Honduran Habitat for Humanity. Soon, the North Collin County Habitat for Humanity offered to provided some of the needed funding via their required tithe to the international organization Tom sold his Allen dental practice and retired in 2011, providing him greater opportunity to share Send Hope’s story, raise money for its

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children, and spend more time in La Moskitia. I’ve been going down there every six weeks for a long time, but when I was working I could only stay for a week at a time,” he points out. “Now I stay for two to three weeks and sometimes almost a month, and last year I was there almost all summer.” The number of American volun­ teers arriving at Send Hope’s doors has gradually grown as well, and with each additional helper, at least one more Miskito child takes a step away from poverty. “We are sending $10,000 a month down there to run the place, and that includes the feeding program and transportation program for medical needs, plus paying the employees, food and electricity,” Tom emphasizes. In addition to two teachers, the other employees include a cook, night and day nannies, and someone to do laundry. Katrina Engle and Dr. Marianne Serkland donate their services. “The major funding comes from individuals,” Tom adds. “If you’re doing what God wants, He provides it.” As an example, he shares this story of how House of Hope was built. “People were giving me money… and we eventually had $50,000 in the bank. So we started building the children’s home. I had no idea how much it was going to cost…and if I

knew then what I know now, I might have been too afraid to build it. I would take $10,000 down every six weeks to buy materials and pay the workers. But when we ran out of the $50,000 I had to tell Leonardo— the guy who was running [the construction]—to stop after that because we were out of money. “But when I came back to Allen, a lady wrote me a check for $8,000, somebody gave me a check for $500, and I got $100 here and $100 there. When it was time to go back in six weeks, I had another $10,000.”He concludes that this serendipitous funding pattern continued until the home was completed. Today, Walter, the young boy who had his long-infected leg repaired at Scottish Rite 17 years ago, is one of Send Hope’s success stories. Married and with a little girl who affectionately calls Tom “Abuelo” (grandfather), Walter works as the day watchman for Send Hope and is an artist, painting and carving items to sell to tourists. His achievements and ability to rise above the poverty he was born into recently earned him an award from the Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa. Katrina sums up the inspiring achievements of Send Hope with her personal observation: “Every baby we rescue who would have been dead and is not, to me is a success. Every child that can smile, and can eat and not drink without the food running out his nose, and can talk without a horrible speech impediment is a success. Every child that can walk and run and play instead of being confined to a bed or a wheel chair to me is a success. Every child that can go to bed without the fear of hunger or being beaten or violated to me is a success.” For more information on Send Hope, go to their website You can also follow Katrina’s day-to-day adventures on her blog v Peggy Helmick-Richardson is a freelance writer.


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C A R D S 65

Allen Image July 2013  

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