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PAID Allen, TX Permit 178
Vol. 21, Issue 6
cover story 54 Scouting—serving our youth, serving our community In 2010, Boy Scouts of America celebrated its 100th birthday, and next year, Girl Scouts of America will celebrate its centennial. Ashton Gepfert, Nicholas Cobb and April Wyatt are three scouts who have distinguished themselves while serving their troops, districts and community.
by Peggy Helmick-Richardson
feature 16 Going out with a bang! When the McKinney Boyd High School girls’ soccer team started their season, they had just one thing on their mind… redemption. Thanks to their determination and teamwork, they won state, bringing the season to a close just the way they had hoped. by Nicole Bywater
18 Pet Page Benny
26 kids korner Splashdown to summer by Deborah Dove
40 business seen Big D Boat MedFolio, Inc. Clothes Mentor
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by Nicole Bywater
41 calendar 62 people seen
contents departments civic forum 8
Get ready to rock! by Jeff Mues
Allen Heritage Guild’s Flag Day The greatest school bus drivers
July is Parks and Recreation Month by Jeff Mues
Beat the heat with family entertainment by Jeff Mues
Western music and nostalgia by Tom Keener
Summer reading and movies 21
graphic design Kevin Valdez
production assistant Carrie McCormick
advertising sales Jill Edelman
contributing writers Nicole Bywater Heather Darrow Deborah Dove Tom Keener
Mom’s Night Out
GRAMMY Foundation recognizes Allen High School by Keith Taylor
by Tom Keener
Peggy Helmick-Richardson Mark Robinson Dr. Robb Tanella Keith Taylor
From crocodiles to okapi by Heather Darrow
living green 34
Have you considered turning over an old leaf? by Peggy Helmick-Richardson
looking back 34
Ira Bell saves Allen by Tom Keener
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Light summer meals by Deborah Dove
health & fitness 64
The doctor of the future… by Dr. Robb Tanella
cover photo Larry Fleming
Allen Image © 2011 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.
by Jeff Mues
After breaking attendance records in 2010 with an estimated 75,000 attendees, the City of Allen’s Parks and Recreation Department anticipates this year’s event, held June 25, will be bigger and better thanks in part to a multi-year sponsorship deal with Market Street, the unique food concept store and market on Bethany Drive in Allen. It is the first time the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration, held the last Saturday in June at Celebration Park, has benefited from the support of both a title sponsor and a presenting sponsor, Pizza Hut. Organizers for Market Street Allen USA Celebration presented by Pizza Hut have confirmed a star-studded entertainment lineup leading up to one of the largest fireworks displays in North Texas. This year’s headline act is the Lou Gramm Band, featuring Gramm, the legendary voice of Foreigner. Other acts performing include the World Class Rockers, a supergroup featuring former members of Santana, Journey, Steppenwolf, Boston, Toto and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
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The David Whiteman Band, a popular 11-piece dance/party band, fills out the bill. In addition to being the lead vocalist for the celebrated rock band Foreigner for more than 27 years, Lou Gramm has had a successful solo career, and is often referred to as one of the greatest rock voices of all time. Gramm was the lead vocalist on Foreigner ’s biggest hits, which include “Feels Like The First Time”, “Cold As Ice”, “Hot Blooded”, “Urgent”, “Double Vision”, “Juke Box Hero”, “Head Games”, “Dirty White Boy” and “Say You Will”. The Lou Gramm Band will perform on the main stage at 8 p.m. With a roster that is a who’s who of the greatest classic rock bands, World Classic Rockers will perform hits from their illustrious careers. Expect such rock and roll staples as “Born To Be Wild”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Magic Carpet Ride”, “Separate Ways”, “Oye Como Va”, “Any Way You Want It”, “Freebird”, “Africa”, “What’s Your
Name Little Girl”, “Rosanna”, “Evil Ways” and many more! The World Classic Rockers hit the stage at 6:30 p.m. shortly after the David Whiteman Band performs their danceable mix of popular Top 40, R&B, hip hop, latin and dance. “For many, the music is the big draw,” said Tim Dentler, Allen Parks and Recreation Department Director. “For others it’s the unbelievable fireworks display that lights up the sky. With the addition of the Cabela’s Zone this year and the many fun activities available in the Kids Zone, there truly is something for everyone this year.” A brand new attraction, Cabela’s Zone, will feature several of Cabela’s hunting, fishing and boating partners along with interactive outdoor stations with activities for both children and adults ranging from archery to fishing. The Kids Zone hosts a multitude of bounce houses and play structures for children to enjoy. The Kids Kraft Tent provides fun and exciting crafts for children and youth of all ages and
the always-popular spray ground provides a fun place for kids to beat the summer heat. Pyrotecnico, an award-winning international producer of special events and fireworks displays, will produce what has come to be regarded as one of America’s premier fireworks shows. Bringing in the biggest stars in music and the best in the special effects and fireworks industry was made possible this year thanks, in no small part, to the support of title sponsor, Market Street. “We are extremely pleased to be the title sponsor of this year’s Allen USA Celebration,” said Kurt McMillan, regional vice president of United Supermarkets LLC, parent company of Market Street. “One of the greatest privileges we enjoy as a company is to be able to make a positive impact in the communities we serve. We are extremely grateful to the people of Allen for welcoming us to the neighborhood and are proud to be
involved in what has truly become the community’s signature event. P re s e n t i n g sponsor Pizza Hut is also deserving of much of the credit according to organizers. The company has been eager to support the event and to show its support for the Allen community through the celebration. “As a local Collin County resident and Pizza Hut franchisee serving Allen, we are proud to support the community as presenting sponsor of the Market Street Allen USA Celebration,” said Mike Baird, franchise owner. “At Pizza Hut we recognize that this highly-anticipated
event is a favorite of many of our customers here in Allen, and we are delighted to present this wonderful family event.” To learn more about Market Street Allen USA Celebration presented by Pizza Hut, visit www.allenusa.org. v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks & Recreation Department.
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Snippets Allen Heritage Guild’s Flag Day Celebration Honor the American flag at the Fourth Annual Allen Flag Day Celebration at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main Street. Dressed in period costume, the Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard will perform a Flag Presentation Ceremony. Sponsored by the Allen Heritage Guild, the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America and the Daughters of the American Revolution, this event is free. At 1:30 pm, Dave Tanner presents “America, I Can,” with songs and stories. In addition, the Allen Fire Department and the Allen Police Department will have special equipment on display. The program is dedicated to the memory of the late Major “Mr. Bill” Zepp, third raider battalion of the United States Marine Corps during World War II. The program is free and open to the public. Old and tattered flags are being collected by Heritage Guild members for a Flag Retirement Ceremony at the conclusion of the program. Flags may be left at the Allen Heritage Center, which is open May 14, 15, 28 and 29. Also, visit “Flags and Uniforms,” the new public exhibit at the Allen Heritage Center that runs through August. Hours of operation are available on the Guild website at www.allenheritageguild.org. For information, call 214.509.4911. v
by Tom Keener
The greatest school bus drivers come from Allen And that is not just a Texas brag. On April 16, Allen ISD dominated the TAPT Regional Bus Road-EO, beating out all from Regions 10 and 11. This makes the fifth consecutive year for Allen ISD to earn the highest honor, beating out the previous record holder, Garland, with four consecutive years. From our Allen team came the highest overall score winners—Eileen Targac (1st place), Darrell “Coach” Gill (2nd place) and Debbie White (3rd place). Besides the nine-event driving portion of the test, which includes parallel parking a 40-foot bus in a 46-foot space, the contestants had to take two written tests on vehicle inspection and general knowledge. Congratulations go to Eileen, Coach and Debbie for a great performance and being the best of the best. Next stop—State Bus Road-EO, in Galveston on June 23 and 24. Lionel Borel and Johanna Britton followed the Regular Education Regional RoadEO win to pull off the “Back-to-Back” in the Special Education Regional Road-EO. Lionel and Johanna took 1st place overall with a convincing blowout win, bringing home the top score over region 10 and 11. Their next stop will be Galveston, to compete in the State Road-EO with our Regular Debbie White Coach Gill Eileen Targac Ed Regional Winners. v
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Lionel Borel and Johanna Britton
July is Parks and Recreation Month in Allen 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 June is now here. But, with July knocking on our door, 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. So where can we turn to make summer count? The City of Allen’s Parks and Recreation Department is a great starting point! The City of Allen’s Parks and Recreation Department is joining the National Recreation and Park Association and
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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, a special calendar for the month of July has been developed with a suggested activity for each day. That calendar will appear in the July Allen Image. Why has July been deemed Parks and Recreation month? The reason is that it is the busiest month of the year nationwide in terms of park usage and in terms of those taking advantage of recreation programs. Nationally, on the Fourth of July each year, there are more people in attendance at our nation’s parks and recreations facilities than on any other single day of the year. Of course, Allen is first to celebrate the holiday with the annual Allen USA Celebration being held the last Saturday in June each year. This year, the Market Street Allen USA celebration
presented by Pizza Hut will be held June 25. But July is about so much more than celebrating our nation’s independence. In fact, more than 75 percent of the U.S. population—more than 190 million people—take advantage of their local parks and/or recreation facilities during the month. Millions of people are investing in their health this summer and for good reason! A recent study conducted by Penn State University showed significant correlations to reductions in stress, lowered blood pressure and physical health to the frequency and length of stay in visits to parks. With more than 1,000 acres of parkland, 38 developed parks and 40 miles of hiking and biking trails in Allen, there is certainly no shortage of places to play. And there is no shortage of activities either. Highlights of July’s special parks and recreation month activities include a month-long promotion at Chase Oaks, where all juniors 14 and under play free on the Sawtooth Course with a paying adult; special free classes; “a dive-in movie” at the Dan Rodenbaugh Natatorium; and educational activities designed to teach healthy lifestyle choices. To close the month, we will commemorate Parks and Recreation month with the inaugural Twilight Festival in the Park presented by Market Street on Saturday, July 30. The fun starts at 5 p.m. at the Joe Farmer Recreation Center Amphitheater and Bethany Lakes Park with fun-filled activities including face painting, bounce houses and arts and crafts. When the sun sets, we will settle down to enjoy a family movie outdoors on a huge inflatable movie screen! Discover or rediscover the value of parks and recreation in July. You’ll be glad you did. Visit www.allenparks. org to learn more. v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks & Recreation Department. A l l e n I m a g e x J u n e 2 0 11
Beat the heat with family entertainment by Jeff Mues
Since opening in late 2009, Allen Event Center has made a name for itself as the place Allen residents turn for a special afternoon or evening of family entertainment. From professional hockey and indoor football to concerts, the state-of-the-art arena has played host to many great events. But beginning this summer, Allen Event Center takes it to a new level, with two highly-anticipated events. Whether you want to spend an afternoon with circus clowns, or sing along with TV stars, Allen Event Center is the place. On June 6, the Piccadilly Circus brings colorful entertainment— elephants, acrobats and everything in between—to Allen. Just one month later on July 8, the Wiggles will launch their Big Birthday World Tour in Allen. The Fab Four from Down Under will be spending extended time in Allen as Allen Event Center hosts their pre-tour rehearsals before they kick off their North American tour with two big shows on July 8.
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“We are extremely pleased to have put together such a diverse lineup of family entertainment,” said Tim Dentler, Allen Parks and Recreation Director. “It shows how versatile a venue Allen Event Center is to be able to host events ranging from professional sports to concerts to a circus.” Celebrating 25 years entertaining families, the Piccadilly Circus brings an impressive lineup to Allen on June 6 at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. In addition to clowns and acrobats, the circus brings motorcycle daredevils, contortionists, cirque artists, daring aerialists, a jungle monster named Katunga and a 1923 Model T with a mind of its own. Tickets are available the day of the show at Allen Event Center. Adult tickets—$28, children are free. The Wiggles are coming to Allen from Australia and bringing their whole crew—Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Wags the Dog and all the Wiggly Dancers. They are celebrating their Big Birthday in Allen with two shows—2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on July 8. Your kids will be wiggling in their seats as they sing along with the Wiggles to favorites like “Sound Your Funky Horn,” “Clap Your Hands With Dorothy,” and “Do the Hot Potato.” Tickets are available now at all Ticketmaster locations (www. ticketmaster.com) or by calling Allen Event Center box office at 972.912.1048. Ticket prices start at $15. Subscribe to the Allen Event Center e-newsletter today at www. alleneventcenter.com, and be the first to know. v Jeff Mues is a senior marketing coordinator with the Allen Event Center and Allen Parks & Recreation Department.
Going out with a by Nicole Bywater
When the McKinney Boyd High School girls’ soccer team started their season this past November, they had just one thing on their mind…redemption. After falling just short of taking the state title last year, the girls were determined not to let it slip away again. Thanks to their determination and teamwork, it didn’t. The team won 1-0 in the state final against Colleyville Heritage High School on April 16, bringing the season to a close just the way they had hoped. “This year was really important because we came in second last year and were just so close,” says junior Amanda Elertson, who scored this year’s final gamewinning goal and was named tournament MVP. “We really wanted to redeem ourselves.” To keep their goal in mind this year, players wore practice jerseys emblazoned with the score 3-2, the final tally at last season’s state championship game. “We lost in just the last minutes of that game,” remembers senior Kelley Monogue. “Just to see it get taken away that easily; we knew that we didn’t want to give anything up this year
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that could prevent us from winning. Our practice shirts reminded us every day of how it felt last year and how we didn’t want it to happen again.”
Winning in overtime Of course, this year’s win didn’t come easy. The semifinal game against San Antonio Johnson ended 1-0, with Kelley scoring the game’s only goal. With that win, they advanced to the final against Colleyville Heritage High School. The game went scoreless in its two 40-minute halves of regulation play. There were several opportunities for the team to score, but the ball kept getting deflected. “The other team’s keeper was really good and she was really tall,” remembers senior Meghan Streight. “She stopped literally everything, which made the game more challenging,” Then, about six minutes into the first half of overtime, left defender, Callie Annett, crossed in with the ball. Amanda was making a diagonal run and headed it in, just sneaking the ball past the keeper and into the corner of the net. “Even watching it, I didn’t think it was going to go in
because it was so close to the left pole,” Amanda says. “But it happened to get right in that corner.” The team erupted with joy, dog-piling on top of their MVP. “When we scored, I honestly wasn’t expecting it,” Meghan says. “She pretty much came out of nowhere and finished it. There was such a sense of relief because we were all so exhausted by that time.” For co-captains Kelley and Meghan, the title win was even sweeter because they, along with teammates Lauren Katada and Jacqueline Cox, were freshman on this team when they won the 4A state championship in 2008. The foursome holds a career record of 104-9-7. “For this group to go through four years of high school and have only lost nine games, and to go to three state championships and win two—you just don’t match that anywhere else in the state,” says Coach Jimmie Lankford. “We really wanted to leave in the best possible way, which meant state,” adds Kelley. “As freshmen, seeing the seniors go out with the state win just made this even more important to us.” Kelley, Meghan and Amanda, as well as junior Caity Heap, were selected by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches to be part of the State Championship All-Tournament team. Kelley and Meghan have also been selected to play in the regional tournament known as the Senior Showcase.
Ranked 2nd in the nation As a team, the McKinney Boyd Lady Broncos finished 28-1-1 this season and were ranked No. 2 in the ESPN RISE poll of the top high school girls’ soccer teams in the nation. “They are, by far, the most successful group of athletes to ever go through McKinney,” Lankford says. “This is a hard working group that came together very early on. I think the senior leadership on this team was very beneficial, they’ve started traditions and really helped create a great team atmosphere.” These traditions include a 3- to 5-minute series of intricate handshakes the girls exchange before games and the team acronym BABU, whose meaning is known only by the players. “It’s something we change every year, based on what we want the year to be,” Meghan says of the word’s meaning. “The seniors made it up our freshman year and we’ve just kept it going.” With almost 3,000 students, fan support is another big part of the school’s traditions. Before a playoff game (in any sport), the team gathers around the high school mascot imprinted on the school’s floor to “kiss the Bronco.” “It’s roped off during the day, so people aren’t walking on it,” Kelley explains. “Then everyone comes to watch
Kelley Monogue you kiss it. And if you make it to state, you get to come back and kiss it again.” Three fan buses of students made the trip to Georgetown, Texas, for the girls’ soccer final. “We get a lot of support and we love it,” Meghan says. “That’s one thing I think is pretty unique to our school—the coming together and supporting of any team that makes it to the playoffs,” Kelley adds. “Even if we were talking about another sport, there would be just as many fans. That’s just one more thing that motivates us to put the work in.” In May, the team was honored with a ring ceremony and a pep rally at the school. They’ll also receive a large state patch to wear on their high school jacket. Kelley and Meghan will continue playing soccer next year at Texas A&M University. Lauren will be going to UT-El Paso, while Jacqueline has committed to playing with Dallas Baptist University. Twin sisters, Callie and Cadie Annet, have both signed to play for Texas A&M Commerce and Alexandra Beck has signed to play with Valparaiso University in Indiana. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Meghan says. “Coming in as a freshman and winning the 4A state title and then leaving as a senior with the 5A state title— it’s just awesome.” v Nicole Bywater is a freelance writer from Allen. A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
Photo: Teresa Berg
Hi! My name is Benny and I am a 45-pound, 2-year-old lab mix with special needs. I was really sick when I came to live with my foster mom—she called it distemper. She helped me through the disease, but I have trouble breathing because of my fight. I am looking for my forever home, but it has to be a little bit special. I need a quieter place to chill out most of the time. If I get excited I have to go lay down and breathe for a bit. They have me on awesome meds that have helped me breathe so much better! I need them most in the summer months—they cost $20 a month.
Benny’s adoption fee has been sponsored! All he needs now is a forever home. Most of my day is spent with my foster brothers and sister. I like to chew on bones and lay in the sun, and I am fully housebroken. I love treats and I do great with other dogs, but I don’t know what a cat is. I am looking for a forever home. I cannot be a running buddy because of my lungs, but I can be a lap dog and loyal companion. I don’t bark much, but I’ll let you know if something is amiss. So, if you have a spare ottoman for me, I have lots of love for you!!! If you are interested in adopting Benny, please complete an online application at http://www. collincountyhumanesociety.org/Forms.htm. 1 8 w w w. a l l e n i m a g e . c o m
Western music and nostalgia by Tom Keener
Veteran actor James Drury joins The Texas Trailhands for an exciting evening, Friday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Bach to Books, free tickets are issued at 6:30 p.m. The Texas Trailhands will perform and James Drury will discuss his career in western films and television. The Texas Trailhands performance at the library will be as close to a campfire swing as you can get. James Drury was the star of the first 90-minute color western TV series—The Virginian—which aired 1962-1971. The Virginian—the third longest running western series in the history of television—was adapted from the 1902 Owen Wister western novel, The Virginian, A Horseman of the Plains. Like the novel, the protagonist was never given a name other than the Virginian. “Nobody knows the
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Summer reading and movies Dig up a good book James Drury
name of my character,” James Drury says, “not even me.” James also starred in Forbidden Planet (1956). After The Virginian, he appeared in TV shows Alias Smith and Jones and Walker, Texas Ranger. Mr. Drury will be available for autographs and photos at 6 p.m. The Texas Trailhands present an upbeat, unforgettable experience. Bandleader Miss Devon declares, “We are cowboy swing. We’re not country or country and western. We’re very particular about songs we do. A song has to pass quite a few litmus tests or they’ll limp away brokenhearted.” Miss Devon is the singin’, yodelin’ voice for Jessie, The Yodelin’ Cowgirl on the GrammyWinning CD, Woody’s Roundup Featuring Riders In the Sky. She is also Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl on the follow up CD for Toy Story Two. In 2009, she won the Academy of Western Artists “Western Music Female Performer of the Year.” Miss Devon is accompanied by “Hoot Al” on acoustic bass, clarinet, guitar, lead and harmony vocals, “Rodeo Kate” on fiddle and flute, “Red River Rick”, lead guitar and harmony vocals, and “Chuckwagon Chuck” on harmonica, guitar and percussion. Wear your western clothes! Call 214.509.4911 for more information. v
The Allen Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading program blasts off June 6. All participants must be at least 18 years old, have an Allen Library card and read all titles between June 6 and July 30. Entrants may read/complete up to 15 items, but must complete 10 items from the reading log in order to be eligible for the grand prize—additional entry for the grand prize for each item completed over 10. Additional items must be books read/ listened to. Drawings will be held for prizes three times a week beginning the third week. One book read equals a prize entry. For every 5 books read, participants will have their choice of a book or DVD. This program is sponsored by Allen Public Library Friends, Cheesecake Factory and Elke’s.
Unearth a great movie
Join us on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. for Indiana Jones films! Prize drawings will include copies of the movie and gift cards to area businesses. June 7—Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Harrison Ford, Paul Freeman and Karen Allen. June 14—Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw. June 21—Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. June 28—Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett. For information, 214.509.4905 v
Jungian analyst by Tom Keener
Explore the depths of your soul and subconscious with Dallas clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst, Dr. Donna Cozort, 7 p.m. Thursday, June 9. Committed to helping people find meaning in life and connection to others, Dr. Cozort guides her clients through different paths of inquiry—psychological, philosophical and spiritual. This free program is sponsored by Bach to Books.
Dr. Donna Cozort Dr. Cozort will lead participants into the world of image, metaphor and myth to explore those places of reverie, imagination and dreams. She will follow metaphor from our earliest experience (primary process), and share how it forms the basis of meaning, communication, and thus language (secondary process). This process bridges the gap from the conscious to the unconscious world and to our dreams. In addition, the symbolic language of dreams will be explored with dream examples presented to demonstrate how they compensate and inform our con-
scious life. This is an opportunity to discover your personal myth. While searching for meaning in the healing arts, Dr. Cozort traveled to the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She studied and lived in Zurich for six years. After returning to the U. S. in 1998, Dr. Cozort found that one of her greatest challenges was working with a traumatized combat nurse. Her story is documented in Dr. Cozort’s book, Out of the Whirlwind: PTSD and the Archetype of Job, which documents the long journey through the pain, suffering and final transformation of a Navy nurse veteran of the Viet Nam War. Dr. Cozort notes, “As we traveled the path together, I realized along the way the truth in Jung’s statement that ‘healing in the client can only occur when there is healing in the analyst.’ Therefore, this is our story.” An active member of the Dallas Institute of Jungian Analysts and the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, Dr. Cozort is the former training coordinator for the Texas Seminar. She has lectured and led groups focused on symbolic manifestations of the psyche both at home and abroad. Take the journey with Dr. Cozort and learn more about your path through discovery. For information, please call 214.509.4911. v
All programs take place at the Allen Public Library, 300 W. Allen Drive. Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.
Mom’s Night Out
Amanda Lunn and Michelle Tobler What mom wouldn’t want a special night out? An escape from the demands of children, work, husbands and life in general? Mom’s Night Out is a night for moms to restore and renew, have lots of fun and celebrate life. Launched in 2010, the program offered chocolate, crafts, a relaxation session and door prizes. Since then, moms have enjoyed games, films and jewelry-making. In September 2010, a book club was inaugurated and now continues to meet every other month. Librarians Amanda Lunn and Michelle Tobler design and plan a variety of events, from crafting and board games to watching films and book discussion. Mom’s Night Out has something for every mom!
Upcoming Summer Events: Movie Night: 7 p.m., June 16, 7 p.m., Life as We Know It Book Club: July 11, 7 p.m., Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, registration begins June 27 and is required. Ice Cream Social & Tie-Dyed T-Shirt Making: July 14, 7 p.m., registration begins June 30 and is required. Mike Yudizky presents “Of Course My Home’s Poison Proof...Or Is It?” August 30, 7 p.m. Register online at www.allenlibrary. org or call 214.509.4905. v A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
GRAMMY Foundation recognizes Allen High School by Keith A. Taylor
Despite national and state awards and accolades, the Allen High School Music Department was more wellknown for the size of its band than the quality of the students’ talents. However, Allen High’s recent selection as a GRAMMY® Signature School shows that perception is changing. “We are certainly proud of the Escadrille and the attention it brings to the school and community. However, we’re also proud of the hard work and talent in our other programs. This award recognizes the dedication of our staff and the success of our students,” said Anthony Gibson, the district’s fine arts director. This award solidifies the reputation of the district’s music program, said Allen High’s Orchestra Director David DeVoto. “We’ve received recognition before,” he said. “For example, we marched in the 2006 Rose Parade by special invitation, but this is
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the first time we’ve won national recognition for the work of our entire Music Department.” According to its web site, the GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture—from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the, still unimagined, musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals. It sponsors the annual Signature School program to recognize outstanding music programs that have shown consistent excellence in all branches—band, orchestra and choir. Although 36 campuses were named Signature Schools, Allen High School was named a Gold-level Signature School along with seven other campuses, qualifying it for a $5,500 cash award. The top award went to an Ann Arbor Michigan high school, which won $15,000.
“The GRAMMY Signature Schools program exemplifies the GRAMMY Foundation’s commitment to fostering excellence in music education in public high schools,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. “With the generous support of our partners, we’ve been able to grant the largest number of GRAMMY Signature Schools awards in recent history, with 36 public high schools in communities across the U. S. receiving this recognition.” The program’s sponsors include Best Buy, Campbell’s Labels For Education program, the Ford Motor Company Fund, Gibson Foundation and the Hot Topic Foundation. The GRAMMY Foundation extensively reviews all aspects of a school’s music program in choosing its winners. The process begins each year in August when the GRAMMY Foundation mails notification to more
than 20,000 public high schools from districts large and small, urban, suburban and rural, requesting information about each school’s music program. Applications are completed and submitted online in October. “The application process is open throughout the country and the foundation receives thousands of entries,” DeVoto said. “The first stage involves an on-line survey that asks about student numbers, economic considerations, specialty programs and a general overview of the entire music program.” After that, an independent blue ribbon committee of top music educators and professionals comes up with a list of 100 schools to consider for the Signature designation. After selection to the top 100, schools submit CDs with samples of performances. Allen High School has been in the top 100 for the past five years, but this is the first time it was elevated to the Signature School level.
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“They’re really looking for an overview of the entire department,” DeVoto said. “For example, we submit three excerpts from the band in 1-1/2-
minute segments. We also submit excerpts from the orchestra, the choir and other programs. The excerpts have to be from performances recorded during the school year.” The foundation also reviews sample concert programs, going back three years, to judge the complexity and depth of the music programs. “It’s very clear that this award is based on a holistic vision of the department, not just one segment of the department,” Gibson said, adding that the award takes the Allen High music program to a new level of recognition and respect. “This is one of the top awards on the national stage,” Gibson said, “This is an entirely different level of recognition. It’s not just recognition for Allen ISD, though. This also is a reflection of the community and the people who support our music programs. When people talk about Allen, this will be another way the city is recognized as a great place to live.” As DeVoto noted, individual programs in the music department have received significant recognitions in the past. Besides the Rose Parade, the band received the Sudler Shield Award in 2004 and the orchestra was
invited to participate at the Midwest Clinic in 2006. The Sudler Shield is an inter national award recognizing high school and youth marching bands of worldclass excellence. The Sudler Shield is endowed by Louis and Virginia Sudler and administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Allen High School Band is only the fifth Texas high school band to receive this honor since its inception. Held every December, the Midwest Clinic is an invitation event with bands and orchestras applying to participate with only top programs performing. The clinic is held to raise the standards of music education and provide teachers with information and tools to improve their professional skills. Gibson said the awards are a big boost to morale for staff and students. “This just builds on the enthusiasm in our music department,” he said. “We are all looking forward to the completion of the new Performing Arts Center and the GRAMMY designation just adds to the momentum and excitement that has been building since construction started.” Approved by voters in 2009, the construction on the center is past the half-way point with the opening expected in the fall of 2011. The center is part of a major expansion of Allen High School that also includes a new Career and Technology Center. The Performing Arts Center encompasses 84,000 square feet and includes a 1,500-seat auditorium, lobby and gallery space, along with backstage and support facilities. The band hall also is being expanded as part of the renovation. “We’ve been waiting a long time for the new center,” DeVoto said. “It’s like you’ve been driving the same old car with an AM radio for the past ten years and now you’re about to trade up to a new car with leather, GPS and a hard-drive.” Gibson said the center will be a tremendous asset in preparing students for careers in music. “They will be able
to experience performance at an almost professional level in facilities that are the best possible,” he said. “I definitely think the center will help make them more competitive at the college level,” he said. The center also represents a valuable asset to the entire community. Gibson anticipates hosting performers and entertainment beyond the school’s musical and theater offerings. “We will be able to draw talent and performances that people usually have to go out of
town to see. This is a great opportunity not only for the district, but the whole city of Allen,” he said. While waiting for the new center’s completion, the music department once again hosted its spring perform ances at the Eisemann Center in Richardson. GRAMMY representatives will visit Allen in the fall to formally present the award. v Keith Taylor is a public relations specialist for Allen ISD.
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Splashdown to Summer By Deborah Dove There’s no better way to beat the heat in Texas than by diving, splashing or jumping into cool water. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to splash around in the area, from fountains to pools to water parks. Here’s the definitive guide to all things water.
Splash Grounds Celebration Park, Malone Drive and Angel Parkway, Allen This popular Allen spot has plenty of interactive spray water features, including umbrella-type fountains, spiral misters, dumping buckets, a spraying dinosaur and more. The cushioned rubber deck surface keeps small tootsies from burning, and the adjacent playground provides another outlet for running and playing. Best of all—it’s free. The sprayground is open 9-9 daily except Wednesdays, when it is closed for maintenance.
The Village Fountain, Village at Fairview on Stacy Road at I75, Fairview Kids love this interactive fountain located on the back side of the Village at Fairview near The Purple Cow. Numerous fountains randomly shoot out arcs of water on this vast concrete splash pad. The fountains are free, as is the nearby beach area with a small playground and lots of smooth white sand. The dancing waters are choreographed to musicians such as Celine Dion and Michael Jackson during shows at 7 & 9 p.m. The fountains are open 9-9 daily. In McKinney—Ash Woods Park, 10310 John F. Kennedy Blvd.; Aviator Park, 1201 Monticello Drive; Finch Park, 301 W. Standifer; Horizon Park, 401 Flatrock Drive; Inspiration Park, 4212 Shawnee Drive; John M. Whisenant Park, 3701 Hudson Crossing. In Frisco—Bicentennial Park, near Frisco Commons Park at 9349 Sunset Drive; J.R. Newman Park, 8211 Twin Falls Drive; Shepherds Glen Park, 12012 Shepherds Hill Drive, near Rolater and Coit roads.
Pools Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium, 110 Rivercrest, Allen Perfect for those occasional rainy days or when you don’t want to slather on the sunblock, this indoor pool features a small interactive water playground, lazy river and flume slide. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for youth 3-17. The pool is open Mon. thru Thur. 1-8:45 p.m.; Friday 1-7:45 p.m.; and Sat. & Sun. 1-5:45 p.m.
Family Nights at Ford Pool, 632 Park Place, Allen Enjoy an evening swimming with the family this summer at Ford’s Family Nights held 6-8 p.m. one Friday each month (June 10, July 15 and August 19). The cost is only $3 per person for everyone over age 7 (children younger than 7 are free) and includes dinner!
Old Settler’s Aquatic Center, 1101 E. Louisiana, McKinney This community pool has a shallow water leisure pool, open flume slide, floor bubblers, Lemon Drop sprayers, Tea Cup, and a cascading waterfall. Hours are Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday noon-6 p.m., with family hours on Fridays from 5:30-8 p.m.
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Frisco Aquatic Center, 5828 Nancy Jane Lane, Frisco The aquatic center looks like a mini water park and features indoor and outdoor pools. The indoor center has a play structure with two small slides and interactive spray features, a current channel/vortex and Big Blue, a water slide with lots of twists and turns. The outdoor center boasts two water slides—The Pipeline (an enclosed, fast moving thrill slide) and The Green Gusher—as well as a lazy river, open swim areas and The Squirtin’ Station, another interactive play structure for younger kids with the Gully Washer. Cost is $8 for adults; $6 for youth 2-17.
Tom Muehlenbeck Center Pool, 5801 West Parker, Plano The center has both indoor and outdoor pools. The outdoor area features a shallow-water leisure pool with a sitting area and fountains, water volleyball, play structure for toddlers and a variety of spray features, as well as three large slides with run-outs. Concessions are available or pack a cooler to enjoy at one of many shaded picnic tables. The indoor pool also has a play structure for small children, two water slides (one with a big drop into the deep pool), and a lazy river. Admission is $6 for adults over 17; $3 for kids 3-16.
Surf and Swim, 440 W. Oates Rd., Garland, 1 mile east of 635 Feel like you’re at the beach in the middle of Texas at this wave pool operated by the City of Garland. Clear inner tubes are provided for “riding the waves,” and there is a special water play area called Wally’s Cove for children under 6. Admission is $6 for guests over 48” and $5 for children under 48.”
Water Parks Hawaiian Falls, 4400 Paige Road, The Colony or 4550 N. Garland Ave., Garland Close, inexpensive and loaded with fun rides, this is THE water park to spend the summer. Both locations include attractions such as a wave pool, continuous river, numerous body slides and inner tube water slides, an interactive water play structure with slides, ropes, pulley, ladders and dumping buckets, and several thrill rides such as the Hawaiian Halfpipe and The Torpedo slide. Tickets are $23.99 for those over 48” and $16.99 for those under 48”.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, 1800 East Lamar, Arlington The big daddy of water parks, Hurricane Harbor has water rides and slides for thrill seekers, families and kids of all ages, including the Sea Wolf (the fastest and tallest water slide of its kind), the family friendly Hook’s Lagoon, the Tornado (a seven story drop into a 60-foot tall water funnel) as well as body, toboggan and inner tube rides galore. General admission is $27.99 ($21.99 for under 48”), plus $9.26 + tax for parking.
From crocodiles to okapi by Heather Darrow
When Simon McNeny tries to hang out with 28-year-old Kamili, her response is equivalent to a teenage eye roll. Unabashed, he saunters over to visit with the serene, 20-yearold Kwanini, but she is distracted because her one-year-old son, Askari, is close by. The pair converse in a language that McNeny cannot understand—primarily because they are speaking in an infrasonic, or low, frequency he is physically unable to hear. Kamili, Kwanini and Askari are members of the okapi family, a near threatened species that was first discovered in the late 1800’s. A Collin College graduate and zookeeper, McNeny is the okapi primary at the Dallas Zoo. His eyes gleam with excitement as he tells hoards of bouncy children and their parents about how Askari was 40 pounds at birth and that her mother now tops the scale at close to 700 pounds. He explains that besides zoos, okapi can be found in the Ituri Rainforest in the African Congo. The children suddenly gasp in amazement as they observe Kwanini’s 14-inch prehensile tongue wrap around a leaf above her head and pull it off the branch. McNeny laughs and says, “Their tongues have a rough texture. It hurts when they lick you. Their coats are really soft and oily. Since they live in the rain forest, they repel water really well. Okapis are the only cousin to the giraffe. Even though their hind legs look like zebra fur, they are not related to the zebra. Their stripes are unique, like our fingerprints.” He adds with pride, “We have the oldest living okapi of any zoo in the world right here. Her name is Kamili.” When McNeny was eight years old, he contemplated becoming a veterinarian. At 11 years old, Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, became his hero. At 12 years old, with two cats, a dog, three snakes and a love of the outdoors, he knew he would become a zookeeper. He began his entrance into the animal kingdom by volunteering 4,500 hours at the animal shelter.
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By the time he was 14, he was known as the reptile expert and gave presentations at local schools. “Steve Irwin’s passion is what got me. It is why I got into the field. Zoo work is the closest I can get to working with wildlife. I wanted to impact people and share my love of animals and conservation. I’ve worked with a scimitar-horned oryx. They are completely extinct in the wild, but in Texas we have thousands of them. If we didn’t do this they would be gone.” McNeny earned an associate of science degree from Collin College in 2007 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fishery Science from Texas A&M University in 2009. All three of his siblings attended Collin College; his youngest sister is currently taking classes at the college. “I am very proud I came to Collin College. It was the one-on-one with every professor that was helpful. When I went to Texas A&M, I was in classes
with 300 people. The classes weren’t easier at Collin, but they felt easier because of the extra knowledge the professor was able to share with us. When I took genetics with Dr. Collin Thomas, we were isolating yeast DNA in class, and he let me isolate DNA from snake skin. I was contemplating breeding albino snakes and wanted to see if we could distinguish which
snakes carried the gene but didn’t show albinism. Whatever crazy idea I came up with he became enthralled and would say, ‘That’s the most fabulous idea. Let’s do it.’ He is open-minded and says ideas are never stupid.” McNeny took a biology class with Dr. David McCulloch that included a one-week field trip to Big Bend National Park.
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“That was one of the coolest classes I have ever taken. We stayed in the Chisos Mountains, and I learned about animals, plants, rocks, underground waterways and rivers and the natural history of Texas. I am not a fan of dull, quiet classes. The atmosphere at this school is different. I walk in and I still feel the spirit, the vibrancy in the school.”
As a zookeeper, McNeny’s job includes feeding, cleaning and training. Temperature greatly affects his schedule. The guidelines for caring for the okapi change dramatically with rain, snow or ice. “I want to keep the animals happy. That includes enrichment. I will change something—give them carrots, play music or videos or put a mirror in a stall. You have to be super careful because you don’t know what will spook any animal. If they spook, they can injure themselves. They can also kick outward. If an okapi kicked me, the injury could be serious.” McNeny is aware he has a hazardous job. When he worked with the Oryx he knew their four-and-a-halffoot horns were razor sharp and that he could be killed in an instant. Animals can be unpredictable, but for McNeny the risk far outweighs any peril. “Part of our enrichment is being able to pet the animals. When you are brushing animals and they lean into you, you know they like it. There’s a trust you get with the animals. You get to know them very well. They become like family. Conservation is saving the species, and that’s what I am all about.” Visit www.collin.edu. v Heather Darrow is a public information writer for Collin College. Photos by Nick Young, Collin College photographer.
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A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
Have you considered
by Peggy Helmick-Richardson
One of my favorite Mother’s Day presents was a pitchfork. Maybe it wasn’t the most sentimental of gifts, but it is oh-so-handy for turning food scraps, yard waste and manure into beautiful, rich compost and this is immensely gratifying. Plus, the pleasure keeps coming, like when I nibble on sweet homegrown cherry tomatoes or get dazzled by an array of bright yellow Mexican mint marigold flowers nourished by that compost.
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Even if you have little interest in gardening, there is always the satisfaction in knowing that composting reduces the amount of garbage tossed into the landfill. Creating and maintaining a composting system of your own can be as simple, or as complex, as you wish. The most significant differences are how much effort you want to put into it and how fast your pile gets converted into useable soil. You can produce garden-quality soil in as short as a few weeks or as long as several years. And lest you doubt the value of quality compost, I have a friend in Dallas whose garden-ready compost pile was absconded by thieves in the middle of the night. Not the tools and bins—just the compost. “Compost added to your plantings allows you to reduce chemical applications by building a naturally healthier environment for all growing things,” notes Sherrian Jones, division manager for Texas Pure Products, owned by the City of Plano. Allen is one of five cities that partner with the North Texas Municipal Water District to send yard trimmings to the Texas Pure compost facility rather than the landfill. “These various organic products are then composted meeting all STA [Seal of Testing Assurance] requirements of the United States Composting Council to create high quality organic compost perfect for your garden, lawn or landscape planting application,” Sherrian continues. Since composted vegetation is so good for the soil and the environment, consider including it in your landscape or garden routine. A variety of commercial bins can be purchased, but building your own bin(s) is a great recycling opportunity. Common materials include old pallets, hay bales, cinder blocks, chicken wire and scrap lumber. You don’t even need a bin for composting, but they are useful for deterring critters. My dogs consider our compost pile a puppy nirvana tempting them to find a way to break in. My dogproof bin, built from discarded wire shelving, is constructed so the top lifts up for filling and the front lifts out to simplify turning and emptying. There are many options to consider when establishing a compost pile, but there are a few necessities: • Oxygen for the bacteria that break down the materials in your pile
• Water, just enough to keep your pile damp but not soggy • Nitrogen sources from green materials such as chopped fruit and vegetable scraps, fresh grass clippings, and manure from critters such as rabbits and sheep • Carbon sources from finely chopped dried leaves, straw, and pruning remnants. There are also a few don’ts for compost piles: no meat or animal products, dairy products, grease and oils, pet waste and materials from treated wood. One of the most appreciated words found in compost instructions is “optional.” You can choose to follow meticulous instructions on balancing the ideal proportions of carbon and nitrogen, turning every few days and carefully measuring internal temperatures for a fastproducing compost pile. Or you may simply add on layers more haphazardly and turn your pile when you have the time. With the latter, the price you pay for convenience is that it will take longer to produce useable compost.
What if you live in a neighborhood prohibiting compost piles? Consider vermiculture. Not only will you be rewarded with rich soil amendments, you will have wiggly, low–maintenance pets. All that is needed is a worm bin, a little soil or sand, moistened newspaper strips, appropriate food scraps chopped in small pieces, and red wiggler worms. Materials you do not want to use in worm composting include grease and oils, meat and animal products, dairy products and citrus fruit. Once your worm bin has been set up, you need to check on your worms weekly and within a few months you will be able to harvest your first worm casings—the nutritionally rich digestive by-product left by the worms. If you just can’t get over the (in my opinion, undeserved) “ick” factor, worm composting can also be done outdoors with no actual contact with the worms. To
do this, you partially bury a sturdy, water- and weatherproof container with holes in the bottom in your garden. You add the necessary materials and the worms from your own soil will come in through the holes. When the worm casings are ready, you remove this material from the container, spread it around that area of the garden, mix it with soil and vermiculite to make potting soil, or dilute it 10-to-1 with water to make a fertilizing tea. In addition to composting classes offered in Plano, Irving and Coppell there are a number of excellent online resources as well. Check the City of Plano’s www.livegreeninplano.com to find information on garden and worm composting along with a list of related classes presented by a Certified Master Composter. At this site, select “online learning module” to watch a fun, yet informative, tutorial on both indoor and outdoor methods of vermiculture. The Environmental Education Coordinator for the City of Plano, as well as a Master Composter/ Master Gardener, Erin Hoffer, recommends other web sites for those wanting more information on composting: Texas A&M’s Aggie Horticulture’s Don’t Bag It™—Compost It! program: aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ publications/landscape/compost/ Texas Water Foundation: www.texaswater.org/conservation/ compost/index.html Erin also keeps a list of Texas composting worm suppliers, including local producers, Texas Worm Ranch (www.txwormranch.com) in Dallas; Catch the Rain (www.catchtherain. com) in McKinney; and TXWorms (www. txworms.com) in Garland. “The Master Composter program helps cities across Texas to develop a corps of volunteers knowledgeable about the methods, benefits and uses of compost and vermicomposting,” Erin explains. She notes that this training includes “waste reduction through yard trimming diversion, soil management, the seven steps to a Texas SmartScape, native and adapted plants for the North Central Texas region, and the use of integrated pest management in residential pest control.” Do some reading or sign up for a course, and start composting now. With just a little time and effort, you may be rewarded with rich compost ready to add to your fall garden or flowerbeds. If you can’t wait for your own, or need more than you can produce, Texas Pure Products are available in bags or bulk at their retail store, 9901 Custer Road in Plano or at a number of area retail garden centers. v Peggy Helmick-Richardson is a freelance writer. A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
Ira Bell saves Allen by Tom Keener “That was an awful night!” the late Minnie Shelton recollected about the evening of November 28, 1915, when half of downtown Allen was consumed by flames. After 1900, Allen was benefitting from the wave of prosperity that cascaded upon the nation. New homes, lodge halls, churches and buildings were springing up. Large quantities of cotton bales were being loaded onto the railroad platform for shipment to northern markets, which meant income for local farmers. At 11 p.m. that fateful night, Allen’s success came to a grinding halt. A fire engulfed the A Green’s General Merchandise store, located on the north side of Main Street and west of the railroad tracks. While making his rounds, Interurban coachman, Ira Bell, noticed the fire and stopped his electric train to alert the community. His prompt action was a factor in saving portions of downtown. Men soon gathered to fight the blaze with hoses connected to the Allen Water Company. Despite the ample water source, a heavy wind fed the flames. Telephone and electric lines fell to the ground and men were shouting, “Don’t touch those lines!” Bush Grocery store and the old
Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) hall, a two-story building owned by Price Bush, were soon engulfed by flames. The upstairs contained family heir looms of the Wilson family, but the Pierce-Fordyce Oil Company was downstairs where large quantities of gasoline and oil were stored in barrels. When the barrels went up in flames, a huge explosion illuminated the sky and shattered windows throughout downtown. Firefighters were unaware of the volatile materials being stored on the lower floor and, as a result, many suffered from burns and cuts from glass that flew through the air. The explosion spread the flames to the new IOOF building. R. A. Dickerson’s Dry Goods Store and Frank Bell’s Grocery were on the ground floor; the IOOF lodge and Dr. H.H. Compton’s medical office were upstairs. All were destroyed. Soon, the wind was carrying sparks towards the economic lifeblood of Allen—the cotton yard and railroad platform where bales of cotton, ready for shipment, were being stored. The nearby Interurban station waiting room contained a casket and body waiting to be claimed on Monday for a burial. Serving as cotton agent and
Interurban agent, Tom Rose was anxious about the casket and the cotton. Firefighters were finally able to quell the flames by building brick walls, and the cotton, casket and Allen Bank were saved. Allen displayed its resilient spirit by rebuilding most of the north side of downtown. The IOOF Hall was never reconstructed, but Dr. Compton continued to practice medicine. If it had not been for volunteer firefighters and the rapid response by Interurban coachman, Ira Bell, Allen might have been totally destroyed. The surviving south side of Main Street, west of the railroad tracks, serves as a historical legacy to Allen’s early residents and the people who risked their lives to save it. Please call 214.509.4911, or send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to Bell family members Sherry Hightower and Joanna Sikes for their contributions! v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.
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For MarketPlace Your Health
A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
Light summer meals by Deborah Dove
It’s summer time and the living is easy. Which means the resident chef at your house (yes, you!) should get a break too, with light, flavorful meals that rely on fresh summer ingredients. After all, summer is all about enjoying time outdoors with family and friends, not slaving away in a hot kitchen. Summer cooking focuses on quick preparation, fresh and healthy ingredients, lighter flavors and even portability for picnics, concerts, block parties and other outdoor get-togethers. You can also lighten up your cache of go-to recipes for summer by substituting lighter versions of pasta such as angel hair, vermicelli, orzo and rotini; building open-faced sandwiches with an emphasis on summer fresh veggies such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red pepper and avocado; or turning salads from side dishes to main dishes by topping with a variety of fresh produce along with grilled steak or chicken, lunchmeat or canned beans. You can save extra time in the kitchen by purchasing pre-cut produce and pre-cooked meats. Best of all, summer food lends itself to experimentation. Whatever is fresh and on sale at the supermarket will most likely lend itself to a starring role in a salad, sandwich or pasta dish. Take it from me, it’s almost impossible to mess up a sandwich, salad or pasta dish. Start with a base of bread, lettuce or pasta, add summer vegetables, some protein, a handful of fresh herbs, grated cheese and a simple dressing of olive oil and red wine vine vinegar and you’ll end up with a light and flavorful gourmet meal. Whether you’re enjoying a meal at home or perhaps catching one of the great summer concerts at Joe Farmer,
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following are some light and refreshing summer recipes.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 11/2 lbs) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped. Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread 1/4 c. olive oil Parboil tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove skins from
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
tomatoes. Once peeled, cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove seeds and juice from the centers. Discard stem area. Preheat the oven to 450°. Finely chop tomatoes and mix in a bowl with garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste. Slice baguette—1/2 inch thick slices on the diagonal. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, oil side down. Place cookie sheet on top rack of oven and toast for 5-6 minutes, until bread just begins to turn golden brown. Place bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Top each slice with the tomatoes just before serving.
Layered BLT Sandwich
Picnic Pasta Salad
1 bag/2 heads of Romaine (chopped) 1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 1 c. croutons 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 1/2 c. shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese 1/2 bottle Caesar or ranch dressing Layer croutons, lettuce, tomato, bacon and cheese in a serving bowl. Just before serving, top with dressing and toss.
1 (16 oz.) package penne pasta 3 c. cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 lb. provolone cheese, cubed 1/2 lb. salami, cubed 1/4 lb. sliced pepperoni, cut in half 1 lg. green bell pepper, cut into 1-in. pieces 1 (10 oz.) can black olives, drained 1/2 c. grated Parmesan 1 (8 oz.) bottle Italian salad dressing Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook 8-10
Shrimp Salad Sandwich
minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese, pepperoni, salami, green pepper, parmesan and olives. Pour in salad dressing and toss to coat.
Summer Chicken Salad Cooked rotisserie chicken from the deli 4 stalks of green onion, sliced into 1/4â€? pieces 1 stalk celery, finely diced
8 oz. of frozen fully-cooked, tails-off shrimp, defrosted 2 stalks celery, sliced 2 green onions, sliced 1 tsp. dry dill 1 Tbs. lemon juice 1/4 c. mayonnaise salt and black pepper to taste 2 soft hoagie rolls butter lettuce Chop shrimp into chunky pieces. Add other ingredients and mix gently. Remove a little of the bread from one half of each roll to create a well. Place the butter lettuce leaf into well, fill with shrimp salad and add the top of the roll.
Texas Caviar 1/2 onion, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 bunch green onions, chopped 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (remove seeds if you prefer less spice) 1 Tbs. minced garlic 1 pt. cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 avocado, diced 1 (8 oz.) bottle zesty Italian dressing 1 can Mexi-corn, drained 1 (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained 1/2 tsp. ground coriander 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro In a large bowl, mix together onion, green bell pepper, green onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cherry tomatoes, avocado, Mexi-corn, zesty Italian dressing, black beans, blackeyed peas and coriander. Cover and chill in the refrigerator approximately 2 hours. Toss with desired amount of fresh cilantro to serve. Serve with corn chips. A l l e n I m a g e x J u n e 2 0 11
2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley 1 sm. can pineapple, finely chopped 1 c. mayonnaise 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 2 tsp. lemon juice 2 tsp. salt ground pepper to taste
Remove chicken from the bone and cut into bite size pieces. Combine in a bowl with celery, green onion, pineapple and parsley. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Add to chicken and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on a bed of lettuce, in half an avocado or on croissants with slices of cooked bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Gazpacho Soup 1-1/2 c. V-8 juice 3 lg. tomatoes, quartered and seeded 1 sm. cucumber, peeled, quartered and seeded 1 sm. green bell pepper, quartered and seeded 1 sm. onion, peeled and quartered 1 garlic clove, peeled 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. hot sauce 1/4 c. sliced cucumber 1/4 c. finely chopped green bell pepper Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor (or blender); process until almost smooth. Pour mixture into a large bowl; stir in vinegar, salt and hot sauce. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish and serve chilled. v Deborah Dove is a freelance writer from Allen.
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For MarketPlace Your Health
A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
business seen by Nicole Bywater
Big D Boat Club
Do you love boating, but hate the hassles that come with owning a boat? The Big D Boat Club gives you all the fun on the lake, without the headache and expense of storing, transporting or maintaining a boat. Membership in the Big D Boat Club costs less than the price of what you would pay just to rent a boat slip, says owner Monty Kitchen, and it allows for unlimited use of the club’s top-of-the-line fleet of 18 boats, on Lake Lewisville and Lake Ray Hubbard. When you arrive at the marina, club staff will help take your cooler and other belongings to the boat you’ve reserved. The boat will have been freshly cleaned, filled with gas and outfitted with the life jackets and water toys (wakeboards, skis, tubes, etc.) you requested for the day. “Because we are a private club, our level of service is above and beyond what you might find at a typical rental company,” Monty says. “Your hassles for the day are done the moment you park your car.” Memberships are very popular with families, many of who will be enjoying ‘stay-cations’ this summer by having a great vacation without traveling. Monty says, “They realize that for less than the price of just one week spent at Disney World, they can go boating and create an entire summer of memories for their family.” For more information, or to arrange for a tour of the club, call 214.705.3041 or visit www.bigdboatclub.com.
MedFolio Inc. is a Health Information Technology company focused on equipping medical practitioners with the most effective technology solutions. Founder Alia Faiz says her inspiration to start a health IT company came from her physician friends and family members who shared with her their struggles in incorporating technology into their practices. With over a decade of experience in IT and software development, she aimed to create an entity to help practitioners choose the best technology solutions and improve their work-life balance. From full-service web development to implementing the best-in-class electronic medical record (EMR) system, MedFolio Inc. takes care of all the technological needs of health care professionals. “Even patients you might not think to be computer savvy are going to their physician’s website for medical forms, prescription refills or to email questions, because it’s easier and faster,” Alia adds. “This, in turn, makes it more efficient for medical staff to organize and receive information, and respond to patient questions. With electronic records, instead of relying on charts in the office, doctors can access patient information anywhere. MedFolio is the preferred provider for the most advanced, cost effective and user-friendly EMR system, GE Centricity Advance. Alia says, “Implementing this EMR and MedFolio’s customized services allow physicians to streamline their practice workflow, as well as improve patient satisfaction and care coordination.” Visit www.medfolioinc.com, call 469.855.3685 or email email@example.com.
Clothes Mentor is a new kind of resale shop for women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and designer purses. The store buys and sells both causal and professional wear from brands such as Gap, Banana Republic, New York & Co., Talbots, J. Jill, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Limited, Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren, in sizes 2 to 26, including maternity. “We focus on buying top-quality brands that are in current style and in great condition,” says owner Pat Bracken. “Our prices are typically 70 percent less than what you’d find in the shopping center or mall, so there are some real bargains to be had.” Beyond finding unique pieces at great prices, you can also sell your ‘ready-towear’ clothing and accessories to the store for cash on the spot. “Many of us have things in our closet that we bought and only wore once or twice,” Pat says. “Or we’ve got things that we don’t need or that just don’t fit right, and now they’re taking up valuable closet space.” Resale is the perfect way to recycle these things. “The average American puts 70 pounds of textiles into a landfill every year,” Pat says. “Instead of doing that, or holding on to things that you no longer wear, bring them into Clothes Mentor so they can be enjoyed again.” Clothes Mentor is located in Plano, at 820 W. Spring Creek Pkwy, next to Plato’s Closet. For more information, call 469.464.5100 or visit www.clothesmentor.com.
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The Plano Civic Chorus presents An Evening with Z. Randall Stroope, 8 pm, St. Andrew United Methodist Church, Plano. Dr. Stroope will share the podium with Ralph Frederick Stannard, artistic director and conductor for the Plano Civic Chorus. $20 for advance purchase tickets. For information or tickets call 972.606.5220 or visit www. planocivicchorus.org.
Flag Day Celebration presented by Allen Heritage Guild, 1 pm, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main. This is a free event. The Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard will perform at the Flag Presentation Ceremony. Old and tattered flags will be collected for Flag Retirement Ceremony at the conclusion of the program. For more information, please call 214.509.4911.
Monty Python’s Spamalot at Dallas Summer Musicals, Music Hall at Fair Park, Dallas, thru the 26th. Winner of the 2005 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Spamalot is a comedy sensation. For more information or tickets contact 214.421.5678 or www.dallassummermusicals.org. Heard-Craig’s Tea and Conversation with guest Neil Sperry, 2 pm, Heard-Craig House, 205 W. Hunt St., McKinney. Neil Sperry will share gardening tips and his current projects followed by tea and a tour of the historic Heard-Craig house. Reservations required. $20 members/$25 non-members. For information visit www.heardcraig.org.
Market Street Allen USA Celebration presented by Pizza Hut, Celebration Park, Allen. Allen’s annual 4th of July celebration will include live music—Lou Gramm Band, World Class Rockers and The David Whiteman Band—a Kids Zone, Cabela’s Zone, concessions and one of the largest fireworks shows in North Texas. Please visit www.allenusa.org for more information.
The Piccadilly Circus at Allen Event Center, 4:30 & 7:30 p.m. The Piccadilly Circus brings an impressive lineup to Allen—clowns, acrobats, motorcycle daredevils, contortionists, cirque artists, daring aerialists, a jungle monster named Katunga and a 1923 Model T with a mind of its own. Tickets available the day of the show at Allen Event Center. Adults— $28, children are free. Visit www.alleneventcenter.com for more information. Summer Sounds Concert, at Joe Farmer Recreation Center Amphitheatre. GOODnGONE, a homegrown Texas country band with rock-n-roll roots, 7 pm, Allen. Free event. 13—FastLane, a tribute to the Eagles, 7 pm. 20— Signed Sealed Delivered, a popular Dallas 8-piece band with high energy and versatile style that will keep you dancing and singing along, 7 pm. Please visit www. allenparks.org for more information.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents Stomp, Music Hall at Fair Park, in Dallas, thru the 12th. Explosive, provocative, sophisticated and unique. Appeals to audiences of all ages. For more information or tickets, contact 214.421.5678 or www.dallassummermusicals.org.
Collin Theatre Center presents William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, thru July 3, John Anthony Theatre, Spring Creek Campus, 2800 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano. This year’s performances will be directed by Joanne Zipay, artistic director of the Judith Shakespeare Company in New York. Visit www.collintheatre.com for more information. A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
CITY OF ALLEN Parks and Recreation 1-30 Play Golf America Women’s Golf Month, Mon.-Thurs., two for one green fee special at Chase Oaks. Cart fee is required for both participants. For more info: Chase Oaks, 214-509-4653. 7 Allen Senior Center Line Dancing Mixer, 6-9 pm, Allen Senior Center. Meet new friends and enjoy an evening of line dancing that does not require a partner. All levels are welcome, but no lessons will be given during this time. For more info: 214-509-6820. 10
Dance for Adults with Disabilities, 7-10 pm, Recreation Hall, 105 S. Anna, Allen. Live music, snacks and a commemorative photo that is mailed to each participant’s home! For more info: or to get on the email distribution list, email tharben@cityofallen. org or call 214-509-4707. Visitor Center Lock-In, 11 pm-7 am, The Edge Visitor’s Center, Allen. Ages 8 to 18. Video game tournaments and movies to dodge ball, you will be up all night long. Concessions available & meals provided. For more info: www.allenparks.org. Family Night at Ford Pool. Every 3rd Friday of the month. An evening of food, fun and family time. Pool open late, dinner included. Register early or at door. Each guest receives a concessions coupon. For more info: www.allenparks.org.
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Meet the City of Allen’s Firefighters, 10:30-11:30 am, Allen Senior Center. A fun-filled hour of interaction with Allen Firefighters. The firefighters will bring the fire truck, will discuss fire safety and will hold a Q and A about their duties. For more info: www.allenparks.org.
City of Allen Adult Athletic League Registration Deadlines
Partners in Rhyme—Tue., June 14-July 19, 22:45 pm. (Entering grades 1 & 2 in 2011). Each child paired with a teen volunteer to work on reading fundamentals. Summer Reading Club starts June 6. For children of all ages. Register online at www.allenlibrary.org or stop by the library. 15
Game Day, 3 pm. Come have a ball playing games of all kinds, like basketball, ring toss, and giant parachute play. Kids are encouraged to wear their favorite sports jersey. Ages 5-6.
Read to Rover, 10:30 am. Grab your favorite book and buddy up with a Heart of Texas therapy dog to share a story. K6th grade. Sign-up starts at 10:15 am.
Crafternoon, 2 pm. Children and their parents or caregivers can join us for this come-and–go program to make brilliant works of art. Ages 3+.
Junior Detectives, 3 pm. Join us for an afternoon of cracking codes and discovering invisible ink. Ages 7-8.
Mom & Tot Yoga, 10:15 am. Partner with your toddler in simple animated poses, games, singing and breathing exercises that help to strengthen coordination and build body awareness. Ages 21 mo.-3 yrs.
Digging Pals, 3 pm. We’ll learn about the old west and other fun cowboy related activities. Ages 5-6.
Coed Line Drive Softball Tournament—Thru May 30. Cost: $175. Age: 15 years+. 6/04, 8 am. Men’s Line Drive Softball Tourn.—Thru Aug. 22. Cost: $175. Ages 15+, 8/27, 8 am. Athletic Information Hotline: 214-509-4810.
Allen Event Center 21
Allen Wranglers vs. Bricktown Brawlers, 7:05 p.m.
ALLEN PUBLIC LIBRARY CHILDREN Summer Reading Program Baby and Me:—Tues., 10:15 am. (For prewalkers with an adult) Fun Ones—Mon.,10:15 or 11:15 am & Tues., 6:30pm. (1 year-olds with an adult) Together Time—Wed., 10:15 am & Thurs., 10:15 am. (2 & 3 year-olds with an adult) All By Myself—Wed., 11:15 pm. (4 & 5 yearolds ready to attend independently) Family Storytime—Tues., 11:15 am, Thurs., 11:15 am & Thurs., 7 pm. (Ages 2-6 and family)
Register online at www.allenlibrary.org.
Come have a great time learning new skills and hanging out with other tweens (ages 8-11) at this weekly program. Join us for crafts, trivia and even robotics. 16
Duct Tape Roses, 3pm
Sharpie Tie Dye, 3pm
30 Star Wars, 3pm Register online starting June 1 at www. allenlibrary.org.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), starring Harrison Ford, Paul Freeman and Karen Allen, 7 pm.
Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom (1984), Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw, 7 pm.
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989), starring Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, 7 pm.
Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, 7 pm.
Teens (Ages 13-18) 9
Opening Party, 2 pm, Auditorium. Kick off the summer with a party to start off the Summer Reading Program for Teens.
Movie+Games+Crafts, 2 pm, Meeting Room. Kung Fu Panda with Serenity Wind Chimes craft.
Pursuit of Happyness, PG-13, 2 pm, Auditorium.
Movie+Games+Crafts, 2 pm, Meeting Room. Despicable Me (PG) with Rubikâ€™s Cube Craft.
Iron Man (PG-13), 2pm, Auditorium.
Movie+Games+Crafts, 2 pm, Meeting Room. How to Train Your Dragon (PG) with Origami Dragons craft.
Transformers (PG-13), 2 pm, Auditorium.
Adults Programs 7
Noontime Pageturners Book Club, 12 pm, Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella.
CONNEMARA CONSERVANCY Connemara Meadow Preserve 4
Bird Walk with Gailon Brehm, 8-11 am, bring your binoculars, about 30+ species, 3 hours. All ages. Long pants, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen & insect repellent are recommended. Habitat Walk with Rich Jaynes, 9-11 am, all ages. Long pants, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen & insect repellent recommended. Meadow Preserve Open House, 12-5 pm. RSVP@Connemaraconservancy.com.
CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS City of Allen offers a variety of affordable recreational classes and programs. Register at Joe Farmer Rec Center, 214509-4750 or Rodenbaugh Natatorium, 214-509-4770. For more info: www.allenparks.org.
Kids Helping Kids, bring new or gently used toys to Kids Pediatric Dentistry to be donated to children in the community. Plus receive a chance to win a prize. For more info: 972-727-0011 or www. kidspediatricdentistry.com. Plano Bicycle Association, club rides, social activities, monthly meetings, newsletters. For more info: Chris Mathews, 972-964-2869 or www.planobicycle.org. MOMS Clubs McKinney/East, support group for stay-at-home moms. Play groups, daytime activities, Momâ€™s Night Out, holiday parties, baby sitting co-op, etc. Monthly business meeting. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org or www. momsclub.org; Urban Explorers is a laid back, fun, diverse social group with meetups throughout the Dallas area. Something for everyone! For more info: www.meetup.com/ getoutandabout. Chronic Hugs: Chronic Pain Support Group, Grace Community Church, 4501 Hedgecoxe, Plano. Call for times. For more info: Jackie Smith, 214-726-9060 or 214-636-7461. 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.
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Texas Health Presbyterian offers a variety of events. For more info: www.texashealth.org. Collin County Allergies in Courage, support group for those who are dealing with food allergies. Playgroup, quarterly meetings, Mom’s Night Out, activities. For more info: Amy at CollinAllergiesInCourage@yahoo.com. Divorce Care, 13-week courses—biblical teaching for recovering from divorce. Class for kids, one for a parent. For more info: Kim Tedford: 214-544-8050 ext. 109, email@example.com or www.creekwoodumc.org. Baylor Health Care System offers support groups, medical information and events. For more info: www.BaylorHealth.com. Every Monday Allen Toastmasters’ Club, 6:30 pm, Atrium Building, 1333 W. McDermott #100, Allen. Guests welcome. Preston Persuaders Toastmasters, 7:15 pm, Custer Road United Methodist Church, Rm B2, 6601 Custer Road, Plano. For more info: Ed Meissner, 469-323-0538 or Todd Richardson, 214-497-4495 or www. prestonpersuaders.org. Allen Symphony Chorus rehearsals, 7-9 pm, choir room at First UMC. For more info: Henry Lessner, 214-893-5360 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ericsson Village Toastmasters Club, 12-1 pm, Ericsson, 6300 Legacy, Plano. Guests welcome For more info: Per Treven, 972-583-8273 or email@example.com. Every Monday, Thursday & Saturday Allen AA meets, 601 S. Greenville. For more info: 972-359-7383. First Monday Multiple Sclerosis Support Group, Wysong Medical Center, 130 S. Central Expwy, 1st floor educational rm., McKinney. For more info: 972-886-0442. Second Monday American Association of University Women-Plano/Collin County Branch, 6:45 pm, Davis Library, 7501 Independence Pkwy, Plano. Open to anyone with a bachelors or assoc. degree interested in helping women. For more info: Carol, 972-862-3460 or www. aauwplanocc.org. McKinney Childcare Association, nonprofit organization of state-listed, registered and licensed home childcare providers in McKinney area, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: Alice Lang, 972-346-2280 or www.mckinneychildcare.com. 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, 972-4425982.
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Heard Museum Collin County Hobby Beekeepers, 7 pm. For more info: 972-562-5566 or www. northtexasbeekeepers.org. Collin County Early Childhood PTA, 9:45 am, Parkway Hills Baptist Church, 2700 Dallas Pkwy., Plano. Nursery res. required. For more info: Suzanne Judkins, 972-7123634. Third Monday Allen Retired Educators, 11 am, Patrizio’s Restaurant, 101 Fairview Station Pkwy, Village of Fairview, Stacy Rd. and Hwy. 75. Celebrate our 10th year, birthday cake, installation of officers, awards ceremony and the year in review. For more info: Dale Howard, dalehoward2@ sbcglobal.net. Collin County Aggie Moms, 7 pm, Texas A&M Ext. Center, Coit between Bush Tollway & Campbell. For more info: 972-382-3124 or www. collincountyaggiemoms.org. Plano Amateur Radio Klub, everyone welcome. For more info: www.K5PRK.org. Breast Cancer Support Group for patients, family & friends, noon, North Central Medical Center, 4500 Medical Center Dr., McKinney. For more info: Kelly Finley Brown, 972-5404984. Fourth Monday Legacy 4-H Club (Allen and Lucas), 7 pm, Lovejoy High School, Lucas. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-616-2460. Allen Seniors Genealogy Club, 1 pm, Allen Seniors Center. Must be a member of ASRC. For more info: www.asgconline.com or Richard Henry, 972-390-7402. Texas Democratic Women of Collin County meets at 6:45 pm, Collin College, Frisco campus, Rm F148. For more info: www.tdwcc.org or Barb Walters, 214-477-5183. Plano Photography Club, Grace Presbyterian Church, 4300 W. Park Blvd., Plano, 7 pm. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.planophotographyclub. com. Every Tuesday Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce Tuesday Morning Live networking breakfast, 7:30 am, Dodie’s Place in Villages of Allen (Stacy & Central). $1 member/$7 non-member. 1st visit FREE. For more info: 972-727-5585. Allen Serenity Al-Anon Family Group, 7 pm, First 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.alanon.alateen.org. Toastmasters Creative Expressions, 11:30 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 www. tops.org. McKinney CEA-HOW Anonymous, 7 pm, Stonebridge United Methodist Church, 1800 S Stonebridge Dr., Rm 104. A disciplined and structured approach to the compulsive eater or food addict. For more info: 214-5014-4927 or www. ceahow.org. 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 972-4241460. First Tuesday Collin County Event Professionals, networking group for wedding & special event professionals. For more info: Wendy Kidd, 214-542-1317 or www.collincountyeventpros.com. Heard Museum Native Plant Society meeting. For more info: 972-562-5566. First and Third Tuesday Allen Lions Club, 7 pm, Nate’s Seafood, Stacy Road, Allen. For more info: email@example.com. Second Tuesday Allen Senior Citizens Luncheon, 11:30 am, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville. For more info: 214-509-4820. 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@aol. com. Collin County Archaeology Society, 7 pm, Texas Star Bank, McKinney. For more info: 972-542-1263. Plano Pacers run at Schimelpfenig Library parking lot, 5024 Custer, in Plano, 7 pm. For more info: Bob Wilmot, 972-678-2244, or www.planopacers.org. Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano, 9:30 am, social; 10 am, meeting.Collin College, Courtyard Center, 4800 Preston Park Blvd, Plano. Speaker: Britain born Judith Dyer will speak about “Lovely Ladies, Darling Damsels and Willful Women.”History’s naughty ladies, artists, inventors and patriots get their due. For more info: www.newcomerfriends.org or Linda Frageman, lindafragemanpr.nfgp@ yahoo.com. Second and Fourth Tuesday Allen High Noon Lions Club, 11:45 am-1 pm. Verona Restaurant (inside Stacy’s), 111 Central Expressway N. For more info: Tony Pritchard, 214-2931598.
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Third Tuesday Allen Area Republican Women, 7 pm, Community Room-old library, 301 Century Pkwy, Allen. For more info: Susie Bartlemay, 972-3961923. Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR, The General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter meets Aug.-May. For more info: 972-727-3090.
Porcelain Art Guild of North Texas, meets at 9:30 am, Carriage House, 306 N. Church St., McKinney. Open to anyone, beginner to expert, interested in china painting and porcelain art. For more info: Gayle Harry 214-509-0787. Heard Museum Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society meets at 7 pm. For more info: 972-562-5566. Every Wednesday
Allen Dialogue Support Group, 7-8:30 pm, First UMC, Wesley House, Rm. 1. For more info: Audrey, 972-519-1405. Allen-Frisco-Plano Autism Spectrum Parents Group provides support & resources for parents of children with autism & related developmental disabilities. Join our on-line group at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ autismparentsupport.
2ChangeU Toastmasters, 6:45-8:15 pm, Custer Rd United Methodist Church, Rm B11, 6601 Custer Rd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org. us or www.2changeu.freetoasthost.us.
McKinney Area Newcomersâ€™ Club, Welcomes new residents, 10 am, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 W. Virginia Pkwy., McKinney. Co-owners of Sip-NDoodle will select 5 lucky winners to participate in doodle art. There will also be a vendor fair for members only.
Allen Rotary Club, Noon, Courtyard by Marriot, 210 East Stacy Rd. For more info: www.allenrotary.org.
For more info: www.mckinneynewcomers. com. Fourth Tuesday Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon and speaker, 11:30 am1 pm. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: www.allenchamber.com.
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Allen Sunrise Rotary Club, 7 am, Twin Creeks Hospital, 1001 Raintree Circle. For more info: 972-673-8221 or www. asrotary.org.
Toastmasters SpeakUp Allen, 7 pm, Twin Creeks Golf Club, 501 Twin Creeks Dr., Allen. For more info: Dan Dodd, 972-571-7527. First Wednesday Allen Heritage Guild, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St, 6:30 pm. For more info: 972-740-8017 or www. allenheritageguild.org.
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 and enjoy. For more info: 972-569-6909 or www. headcraig.org. Second Wednesday Collin County Genealogical Society, 7 pm, Haggard Library, 2501 Coit Rd, Plano. For more info: 972-231-4190. VFW Post 2195, 7:30 pm, Reel Thing Catfish Cafe, 600 E. Main, Allen. For more info: Larry Nordgaard, 972-7279956 or www.vfw2195.org. Second and Fourth Wednesday Mothers of Preschoolers, 9:15-11:30 am, First Baptist Church, 1300 E. 15th, Plano. For more info: Debbie Parker, 972-424-8551. Mocha Moms of North Dallas, support group for stay-at-home moms of color, 10 am, at Douglass Com. Center, Plano. For more info: www.mochamomsnorthdallas. com. Every Thursday Allen Kiwanis Club, Noon, Twin Creeks Clubhouse, 501 Twin Creeks Blvd. Visitors welcome. For more info: Sandy McNair, 214-548-5483 or www.allenkiwanis.org. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Collin County), Recovery support group for adults living with
mental illness. Led by trained individuals. Free, 6:30-8:30 pm, Custer Road UMC, 6601 Custer Rd., Plano. For more info: 214-509-0085 or www.namicco.org. Sweet Adelines, NoteAbly North Texas Chorus, 7 pm, Suncreek United Methodist Church, 1517 W. McDermott. Women of Allen & surrounding area invited. For more info: 972-517-6473 or www. nntchorus.org. Speak Up! Frisco Toastmasters Club, 77:30 pm social, 7:30-8:30 meeting. U of DFrisco campus, 7460 Warren Pkwy (NE corner Warren Pkwy & tollway), rm 110114. For more info: http://speakupfrisco. freetoasthost.ws. Allen Classic Cars, 7-10 pm, 103-111 N. Central Expwy, parking lot between Chipotle and Stacey Furniture. First Thursday Allen Garden Club, meets at 7 pm, monthly gardening talks by area experts, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St. For more info: Denise Webre, 972-390-8536 or www.allengardenclub.org. North Dallas Newcomers, meets Sept. thru June, 11 am, Prestonwood Country Club—The Hills, 6600 Columbine Way, Plano. Luncheon and an activity fair. All women in the North Dallas area. For more info: www.northdallasnewcomers. net. W.I.S.E. (Women in Support of Enterprise), 11:30 am. Call for location. Networking & discussion of women’s issues. Fun & informative meeting for women in Allen & surrounding areas. $20 member/$25 guest. Payment expected unless res. cancelled 48 hrs. in advance. For more info: www.allenchamber.com Allen Garden Club, meets at 7 pm, Second Thursday Legal Aid Clinic, 6 pm, First United Methodist Church. For more info: www.lanwt.org or 1-888-5295277. McKinney Area Republican Co-Ed Club, 7 pm, Collin County GOP Headquarters, 8416 Stacey Rd., #100, McKinney. Location sometimes varies. For more info: Renetta at 972-382-3220. Osteoporosis Support Group, 6:30 pm, Presbyterian Hospital of Allen, Community Education Rm-Medical Office Bldg. 2. For more info: 972-747-6036. Second and Fourth Thursday Allen High Noon Lions Club, Verona’s Italian Bistro (inside Stacy Furniture), 111 Central Expressway South For more info: Tony Pritchard, 214-2931598. Third Thursday Collin County Republican Men’s Club, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: Mark Rutledge, 214-544-0309. A l l e n I m A g e x J u n e 2 0 11
Men of Business, networking and discussion of men’s issues for men of the Allen Fairview Chamber. Call for location. $20 member/$25 guest. RSVP required. For more info: www.allenchamber.com. Allen/McKinney Area Mothers of Multiples, new & expectant moms’ forum, 7 pm, First Christian Church, 1800 W. Hunt, McKinney. For more info: www.amamom.org or 972260-9330. Knights of Columbus, 7:30 pm, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville, Allen. For more info: Steve Nagy, 469-569-3357 or www.stjudekofc.org. Cancer Support Ministry, 7 pm, First Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E101. Our goal is simple—to support you in any way we can. For more info: James Craver, 972-727-8241. Allen Quilters’ Guild, 6:30 pm, First Presbyterian Church, 605 S. Greenville. For more info: www.allenquilters.org. Breast Cancer Support Group, 6:30 pm, Presbyterian Hospital of Allen, Community Education Room-Medical 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 and enjoy social activities. For more info: voyagersofmckinney@gmail. com. Every Other Thursday North Texas Referral Group, 11:45 am, Friday’s (121 & Preston by the mall). Beginning April 1. For more info: www.ntrg.info. Every Friday Allen Senior Rec Center Dances, 1-3 pm. Ages 50+. Members free/Non-member Allen resident $3. Non-Allen residents $24/annually. Allen resident annual membership/$5. For more info: 214-509-4820. Every Other Friday MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), nondenominational support group for moms with kids birth to 5 years, 9:30-11:45 am, First Baptist Church in Allen. Childcare provided. For more info: 972-727-8241. Second Friday Allen Early Childhood PTA, monthly meeting, 9:30-11 am, at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 821 S. Greenville. Activities include play groups, field trips and educational opportunities, baby sitting co-op and more. Nursery reservations are available for children 6 mo.-5 yrs. For more info: www.aecpta.com. or email@example.com.
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Second & Fourth Friday Classic 55+ Game Night, 6:30 pm, First Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E104. Enjoy snacks, fellowship and games (dominoes, Skip Bo and other table games). Event is open to the entire community, no reservations are required. For more info: 972-727-8241 or Eddie Huckabee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fourth Friday and Second Saturday USA Dance, promotes the joys and benefits of ballroom and Latin dancing. Free lesson at 7:30, open dancing until 10:30 pm at McKinney Performing Arts Center. For more info: http://www.usadancenct.org. Second Saturday Heard Museum Nature Photography Club meeting. For more info: 972-562-5566. Department 56 Village Collectors Club meets in the Plano/North Dallas area to share ideas. For more info: Mike, 972-530-6712 or www. bigd56ers.com. Vrooman’s Regiment, Children of the American Revolution, service organization to teach children to serve their local community. For more info: 972-396-8010. Fourth Saturday The North Texas Unit of the Herb Society of America, 10:30 am, North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd, Dallas. Garden talks and programs by local experts are open to the public. For more info: Beth DiGioia, 972-658-6852 or www.northtexashsa.org. American Sewing Guild, 10 am- noon, Christ United Methodist Church, 3101 Coit Rd (at Parker), in Plano For more info: Jane Johnson, 972-841-6854 or www.planoasg.org. Last Saturday Plano Pacers run at Bob Woodruff Park on San Gabriel Rd., Plano, 8 am. For more info: Bob Wilmot, 972-678-2244, or www.planopacers.org. First Sunday “The Health Report” with Dr. Michelle Miller, Ph.D, monthly public service health talk show KXEZ-FM 92.1, 9:05 am and KHYI 95.3, 10 am. Scleroderma Support Group, 3 pm, Allen Presbyterian Hospital, Conference Room 1. For more info: Cindi Brannum, 972-9547185.
Please keep us informed of any local activities or events of general interest to our readers by fax to the Allen Image at 972.396.0807 or email to contact@ allenimage.com.
health & fitness
The doctor of the future… by Dr. Robb Tanella
Who prophesied in the 1800s that… “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease?” Thomas Edison, a world famous prolific inventor who, in his 84 years, had 1,093 patents to his name. These patents contributed to the light bulb, telegraph, phonograph, electrical systems, motion picture camera, telephone, X-ray and so on. He was a man with understanding on how things worked. Edison had an understanding of basics and principles to build on. He understood, just like chiropractic doctors do today, that the nervous system is the body’s master system that controls everything.
Everything? Yes, we live our lives through our nervous systems. A beautiful sunset. The sound of a baby’s giggle. Producing the exact amount of stomach acid to digest dinner. Running to catch a bus. Savoring the aroma of freshly-baked bread. Balancing our hormones. These are the many expressions of our nervous system. Understand that if our nervous system doesn’t work right, we don’t work right. Understand when we don’t work right, we’re not healthy. Our nervous system is vital in keeping our bodies healthy. So vital that key parts are protected by bone. The skull protects our brain. Our spinal cord— the information superhighway of our nervous system—is covered by the 24 moving bones of our spine. Like an electrical circuit breaker, physical, emotional or chemical stresses can cause spinal bones to lose their normal motion or position. This upsets nearby nerves. These nervous system disturbances are called vertebral subluxations and compromise the basic structure of the human frame. Just like the early stages of tooth decay, heart disease or cancer, vertebral subluxations can adversely affect your health—even if we don’t have obvious symptoms.
Vertebral subluxations, which affect the human frame or structure, can cause our brain to lose touch with our body. This would be like mission control losing contact with the space shuttle (sorry Armstrong we missed that first step!) Lack of communication can affect every organ, tissue and system of our body. It will compromise our ability to adapt to our environment. Degenerative changes throughout our body will take place, reducing our vitality, energy, endurance and lowering our immune system, making us more prone to sickness and disease. Some symptoms of these sub luxations are: headaches, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel and infant’s colic and ear infections. Actually the first chiropractic adjustment back in Edison’s time healed a man of deafness. Yes, the nervous system runs our ears too. You name it; the nervous system runs it. This is principle number one you can hang your earmuffs on! As once said by a world famous inventor, look to the structure first. If there is pain or a disease process going on in your body, start with the nervous system and structure. Wellness is getting back to basic principles of the body and applying those principles with understanding to get phenomenal results—the under standing that chiropractic doctors live by—treat the cause, don’t just medicate the symptoms. Thank you, Thomas Edison for defining the wellness revolution. I couldn’t have said it any better… even in my space age future. v Dr. Robb Tanella is a Doctor of Chiropractic at Chiro Spa in Allen. A l l e n I m a g e x J u n e 2 0 11
For Your Health
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For Your Health
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For Your Health
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For Your Health
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cover story Ken Fulk, volunteer Boy Scouts’ Southern Sky District committee chair, estimates that the Allen, Lucas, Fairview area has between 1,700 and 1,800 active members. He points out that the district, which also includes Frisco, Prosper and Celina, has had a growth rate between 7 to 14 percent over the last few years. “We work hard to get out in the schools and recruit, and this has resulted in membership numbers that are fairly impressive,” he declares. The Circle Ten Council recently celebrated the opening of their new Bobby Lyle Billy Gamble Service Center at 5600 US 75 in Fairview. But as any dedicated Girl or Boy Scout volunteer will tell you, this success isn’t about the numbers but about each and every individual girl and boy involved.
Who is scouting for?
Scouting for boys begins in first grade with Cub Scouts, part of the same Boy Scouts of American organization but a separate program. Boy Scout membership begins in sixth grade. The ranks for this program are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and, for an elite few, Eagle. The various levels are achieved by meeting the requirements of the previous rank before moving up to the next level, skipping no levels, no matter the starting age or grade of the Boy Scout. Girl Scout rankings are not earned but determined by what grade a girl is in. Daisies are kindergarten and first grade, Brownies are second and third grade, Juniors are fourth and fifth grade, Cadettes are sixth through eighth grade, Seniors are ninth and tenth grade and Ambassadors are high school juniors and seniors. The last three levels offer opportunities for awards following completion of approved projects: Bronze for Cadettes, Silver for Seniors and Gold for Ambassadors. Let’s meet a few Boy and Girl Scouts who, in earning their ranks, have distinguished themselves while serving their troops, districts and community at large.
involved in Scouting since he was six years old. He earned his Eagle Scout rank last year at the age of 13. Nicholas’ almost life-long passion for helping others was the reason he first became involved in Scouting. “When I was four, we were visiting San Antonio and I saw some homeless people under a bridge,” he explains. “I thought that wasn’t right and I’ve wanted to help homeless people ever since then.” Through the years, he has participated in a number of activities to aid the homeless. These projects include collecting travel-sized personal care products, food and cleaning supplies for the residents at Collin County’s Samaritan Inn. By the age of 12, Nicholas had started his own non-profit organization— Comfort and Joy—with guidance from his mother, Laura. For his Eagle project in 2009, he set a goal of Comfort and Joy providing new winter coats for Samaritan Inn’s residents. “That year, we raised $3,400 and bought 129 coats,” he points out. “My cousins in East Texas had car washes; my barbershop had penny drives; my parents raised money from around work and helped me raise money from scout leaders and friends.” Burlington Coat Factory offered Nicholas a 10 percent discount and opened their doors early so he and volunteers from his troop would have
uninterrupted time and space to shop. Other Boy Scouts assisted him with sorting, tagging and delivering the coats to the Samaritan Inn. The success of his Eagle project inspired Nicholas to expand the efforts of his non-profit organization. More donations of cash, as well as new coats came in, and last Christmas, Comfort and Joy distributed 56 coats to CITY House, a shelter for teens in Plano, as well as 100 coats to Allen Community Outreach. Registering with USA Weekend’s national Make A Difference Day, which is every fourth Saturday in October, Nicholas designated last year’s day as the one to purchase the coats that would be distributed in December. His efforts were recognized by Make a Difference, and Comfort and Joy was named one of 13 recipients awarded a $10,000 prize at a Washington, D.C., luncheon in April. In addition to being selected for the regional Prudential Community Service Award, Nicholas has received accolades for his accomplishments from Senator John Cornyn and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Empowered by this additional support and acknowledgment of Comfort and Joy’s potential, Nicholas is now exploring new options for how his organization can aid the homeless. For his next campaign, this Eagle Scout wants to purchase suits for Samaritan Inn residents to wear for job interviews.
A member of Troop 306 in Allen, 14-year-old Nicholas Cobb has been
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Another dream is providing education scholarships and expanding service to homeless in neighboring counties. Plans are now underway for a golf tournament at Allen’s Chase Oaks Golf Course to benefit Comfort and Joy. The date chosen for this event is Saturday, Oct. 22—Make a Difference Day.
Since its inception, his organi zation has raised almost $20,000 and purchased 285 coats. Donors can go to his web site www. comfortandjoytexas.org to make a contribution and learn about recent accomplish ments and upcoming projects. When queried as to what was the most significant benefit he earned from his Comfort and Joy Texas projects, Nicholas immediately responds, “Seeing the reaction of the people getting the coats and knowing that during the winter they will have something warm to wear.” An Allen High School sophomore who aspires to earn a degree in computer science, Nicholas must balance his time carefully between educational responsibilities, scouting, and serving as CEO of his non-profit.
Despite his busy schedule, he emphasizes, “I still participate in scouts and I’ll continue helping younger scouts.”
A 2011 Allen High School graduate and newly-designated Lifetime Girl Scout, 18-year-old Ashton Gepfert will start TWU this fall with the intent of becoming a nurse. She first joined Brownies in the second grade to be with friends. Her mother Deana came along that first year as an assistant leader, and in the following years as one of the leaders. For her Bronze Project in 2003, Ashton collected several hundred new and used teddy bears to donate to the Allen Fire Department, a free health clinic in Plano and a hospital in Sherman. In the ninth grade, Ashton and other volunteers from her troop made 100 teddy bears with coordinating heart-shaped hot/cold packs for her Silver Project. These were donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas. Ashton’s Gold Project—a disability awareness campaign she called Defining Differences—developed out of her own personal interest and experience. She points out that what initially began as a “little bitty project” blossomed into one that impacted more individuals and communities than she originally intended. “It always concerned me about what would happen if I was home and
Linda Greenidge and Ashton Gepfert
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L to R: Becky Sykes, Ashton Gepfert, Ebby Halliday, Haley Avery and Harriet Myers there was fire,” she explains. “If they came in and asked if anybody was at home, and I didn’t hear them, they might not come in and look for me.” The initial part of Ashton’s project was creating a form for dispatch that included the physical address, disability of any person there, and any special notes for first responders. “So if they were called to my house, they would know that they would have an 18-year-old who has profound hearing
loss. Don’t yell for her, look for her,” she continues. The Allen Fire Department responded enthusiastically. Its public education coordinator Linda Greenidge put her in contact with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to share the program at meetings with police supervisors and representatives from dispatch departments from neighboring communities. For the second portion of her Gold
project, Asthon produced a Disability Awareness Day at the First United Methodist Church in Allen. Participants could visit 22 stations with hands-on displays simulating what various disabilities look, sound or feel like. After this, Ashton produced a public information fair featuring representatives from a variety of different organizations serving people with disabilities. For the final leg of her project, Ashton compiled teacher resource kits based on her hands-on event so these concepts could be shared with students. “These were tied to the Texas Educational Knowledge and Skills standards so they could teach it in the classroom,” Asthon adds. A separate project dear to Ashton was done jointly with her twin brother Cole, an Eagle Scout, to honor Amber Teeter, a member of her troop who died in August. “From the day she came into our troop, she wanted to do a project for Children’s Hospital and never got to do it,” Amber explains. “So we did a Legacy Project for Children’s Hospital in her memory.” With the help of other Girl Scouts, they raised enough money to purchase two red wagons, two DVD players, materials for individual craft kits and the supplies needed to build three toy boxes. In addition, area Girl Scout troops donated plastic games that could be sanitized. “We donated three toy boxes full of toys and craft supplies,” Ashton grins. “One was full of Beanie Babies donated by the sister of a leader who had passed away recently and she had collected Beanie Babies.” Because of her volunteer activities, Ashton was selected as one of two girls to be presented the 2010 Real Girls Real Women Award by the Girl Scouts of the North East Texas Council.
“I always looked up to Girl Scouts even before I was one, because they got so many more opportunities to serve than the average girl,” declares home schooled 10th grader April Wyatt. “So I joined when I was seven.” She initially joined a home school troop but the distance proved time consuming. In seventh grade, she joined a local troop that disbanded the
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Transformation, a nonprofit Christian organization that provides programs and summer day camps for children in low-income neighborhoods. Noting that fossil hunting is a passion shared in her family, April’s Silver Project “focused on the prehistoric history of the Collin County L to R: April Wyatt, Shayla Ngyen, Clarissa Molina, Breanne area.” As part of this Lunt and Loren Martin project, she led troop meetings for Juniors following year. So April elected to and Cadettes to help the girls earn enroll as a Juliette, an individually badges relating to natural history. registered Girl Scout not associated Now April is working on her Gold with a troop. April is currently a Project, a program she named Teen Senior, bridging up to an Ambassador LIFE [Learning Is Fun & Exciting]. this summer. “I just finished running a series of For her Bronze Project, April workshops at the Allen Public Library collected 675 books from Girl Scout on the subjects you learn in school,” leaders, friends and family for Project she notes. “But instead of the normal
presentations, I incorporate a lot of fun activities. I presented them in a way that would be appealing to kids.” Describing her learning style as tactile and visual, April explains, “If I can play with it, I can learn it better. When you can present information in a way that kids learn best, they will have an easier time learning and understanding it.” One of her popular workshops was her Weird and Wacky Facts. “I had the kids look through a lot of resource books and then compile their facts on slips of paper. I had a volunteer stand behind a curtain, and as they handed in one fact to her, they would be handed another fact. They would go through the resource books just so they could turn in new facts.” The children learned information like goldfish have a short-term memory of only two seconds, polar bear fur is translucent and their skin is white, and there is a McDonald’s in Sweden with a ski-through window. Aiming to be finished by May 2012, April will compile binders
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explaining the format of the workshops she presented at the library. These will then be given to area schools and libraries for use in classrooms. It was only natural for April to have her Gold Project involve the Allen Public Library. “I’m a huge volunteer at the library,” she notes. “I do every thing from help running puppet shows to help plan and run teen events, and I’m on the teen advisory board.” She also volunteers to assist with Daisy and Brownie troops. “If I can be a role model to the younger girls like some of the older girls were to me when I was first starting, then that’s a fulfilling experience to me,” she declares. April particularly enjoys the creative activities with the younger girls. “Kids have such a capacity to be imaginative and creative when they are younger,” she notes, “so I love working on art with them, or storytelling and story writing.”
The adults who make it happen
It is the dedication and skill of countless men and women who give their time and talent that make Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations so successful. Stephanie Kirk and Christina Stenger, both of Allen, personify the volunteers whose hard work guides so many Allen-area youth through scouting.
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The mother of four scouts, Christina was a Girl Scout for three years until her troop leader died and no willing volunteer stepped forward to take over. Now she works to see that anyone wanting to be in a scout troop will have that opportunity. Christina began to volunteer when her oldest, Sarah, now 19, joined Girl Scouts at the end of first grade. Sarah continued to be active throughout her school years, eventually earning her Gold Award. When son Stephan, now 17, decided to become a Cub Scout, Christina stepped up to serve as first a den leader and then a Cub Master. Still in Boy Scouts today, Stephan has earned his Eagle rank. In addition, he has earned six Palms, each one given for every five merit badges and three months of service to your troop after earning Eagle rank. He is also a member of the Boy Scout honor society, Order of the Arrow. Following in their siblings’ foot steps, 13-year-old Suzanna is a Cadette now working on her Silver Award and 12-year-old Scott is a Star Scout. For Girl Scouts, Christina has served as leader/co-leader for both daughters’ troops. In addition, she has been involved with the Twilight camp for thirteen years, the last five years as director. In her sixth year as the service unit manager for the southeast area of Allen, Christina hosts monthly service unit meetings, keeps recruiting efforts active and troop leaders informed of Girl Scout events and policies for the 45 troops in her area. “Our service unit has received the President’s Award for 16 years,” she notes. “Only 12 units in our council receive it on a regular basis.” Christina also continues to volunteer for the local Boy Scout district, currently serving as the
advancement chair and a member of the Eagle Board of Review. Also a Girl Scout in elementary school, seven years ago, Stephanie agreed to assist a friend leading a local Cub Scout pack before either of her own sons Austin, now 13, and Ryan, 12, were members. As her sons became active with scouting, Stephanie became more involved. When the boys transferred to Chandler Elementary, Stephanie helped start a new pack of Cub Scouts there. She also began to volunteer at the summer Scout Twilight Camp hosted at Myer’s Park in McKinney. Now a unit organizer for the local Boy Scout district, Stephanie also works as an outdoor coordinator to organize and plan camping and other outdoor activities. In addition, she serves on her sons’ Troop 306 advancement committee. Her husband, Jim, organized and served as a master for a Cub pack for several years and now volunteers as an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 306. In addition to her volunteer efforts, Stephanie is employed by the Circle Ten Council as a customer service representative for such responsibilities as taking registration applications and event payments. Stephanie notes that Austin was initially not interested in scouting. “But when we started the new pack at Chandler, I said the family is going to do this together and you are going to join,” she recalls. “He was reluctant, but he has come a long way. He came out of his shell and now he is in the higher rank in his troop and can help the others learn how to do things.” Both Christina and Stephanie sing the praises of Venture Scouts, a Boy Scout program with some crews open to both boys and girls from ages 14 to 20. “The Venture crews usually have a special interest, whether they focus on rock climbing, bicycling, white water rafting, or shooting sports, but these won’t be the only things they do,” Stephanie notes. Christina adds, “I encourage girls to be a part of a Venture crew because it helps them to do some of the high adventure activities. Sarah was in a Venture crew for a while and she and
her brother hiked 50 miles at Philmont, the Boy Scout camp in New Mexico.” They both encourage anyone with a child interested in scouting to go to the related web sites for information on area troops that will meet their needs. Christina explains, “Although Girl Scout troops do a lot of the same things, they also have a lot of varied interests. Some will be more arts and craft troops and some will be more outdoors and camping troops. And hopefully, there will be a mix of these in the troops.” When it comes to selecting the right troop, Stephanie recommends
Stephanie Kirk that boys take a look at several troops before deciding which to join. “It’s a matter of which one fits your schedule and which one matches your personality,” she emphasizes. Treasuring their years working with Boy and Girl Scouts, these women encourage other adults to consider volunteering in scouting. For more information about Girl Scouts in this area, go to www.gsnetx. org. To learn more about Boy Scouting in our community, go to www. southernskydistrict.org. v Peggy Helmick-Richardson is a freelance writer.
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