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Postal Customer


PAID Allen, TX Permit 178


October 2017

Vol. 27, Issue 11




With a well-deserved reputation for innovation, education and entertainment, the award-winning Allen Public Library owes its humble beginnings fifty years ago to a group of indomitable women.



Justin Preston’s resume is a mélange of interesting and varied accomplishments—lead vocalist and keyboardist for a rock band, artist, teacher of the year, traveler and a self-described “creative builder.”



Halloween Fun for Boys and Ghouls



Mickey Mouse

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lthough they’ve moved to their new offices in the medical/office building on the corner of Stacy and Watters Road, Allen Family Dental is still the same practice that’s been taking care of families in Allen since 2010. What’s new? More space for their growing practice, new advanced technology that allows Dr. Torrens-Parker and Dr. Lizardi to take precise impressions with a digital scan (without subjecting patients to the old trays with unpleasant tasting putty), and massaging dental chairs for a stress-free dental visit. What’s the same? Everything you’ve come to expect from Allen Family Dental, including digital x-rays, TVs in every room, nitrous gas to provide a more relaxing experience for nervous patients, and most importantly, the values that Dr. Torrens-Parker’s and Dr. Lizardi Allen’s patients have relied on for the last seven years. “We enjoy taking care of our community,” says Dr. Geraldine Torrens-Parker. “We want to create relationships with our patients that last a lifetime.” To that end, Allen Family Dental focuses on several core values that form the cornerstones to providing quality, professional dental care in a friendly environment. They pride themselves on being an honest practice dedicated

to really listening and understanding their patients’ needs, giving thorough explanations about the treatments they recommend, and creating a comfortable dental experience for the entire family. Both doctors also bring an exceptional level of experience and expertise to their practice. Dr. TorrensParker received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from La Universidad de Zulia in Maracaibo in 2002, completed extensive training in Prosthodontics (which includes mouth rehabilitation, crowns, veneers, bridges, implant restoration and oral appliances), and earned her Master of Science degree from Columbia University in 2007. Committed to providing her patients with the best and most effective care, Dr. Torrens-Parker stays up-to-date on continuing education and cuttingedge technology. Dr. Lizardi obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2007, as well as from the University of San Tomas de Aquino in Columbia in 1994, and has been practicing dentistry since 1995. The doctors bring their combined experience of thirty-five years to the Allen community. Allen Family Dental provides professional and friendly dental care for the whole family, from children to their parents and grandparents. “I love the relationships I’ve built with my patients. I trust them, and they trust me in return. That longevity—seeing patients through the years—is what we’re all about.” Call to schedule an appointment.









An Enhanced Entertainment Experience


The Reformation: A Journey Together



Building Better Together


The Levee Singers


The 2017 Bulb & Perennial Mart


Pumpkin Patch and Community Fall Festival

Celebrate the Library’s 50th Birthday


Christ the Servant Concert Series



Young Life Gala

Light Has Come: The Angel’s Story

Old Meets New

Professors Bring Real World Experience Into Classrooms


’Til Debt Do Us Part

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COVER PHOTO Larry Fleming Photography

ON THE COVER Jeff Timbs, Ruth Pringle and Wilma Smith


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Matt Cobb

Allen Image © 2017 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.

Steven J. Dawson

Subscriptions are available to residents outside the delivery area at a rate of $2.50 per issue—$30 per year.

Kirk Dickey

Subscription and editorial correspondence should be sent to:

Deborah Dove

Allen Image, P.O. Box 132, Allen, TX 75013, 972.727.4569, fax 972.396.0807, visit our website at www. allenimage.com or email us at contact@allenimage.com.

Chelsey Aprill

Tom Keener Peggy Helmick-Richardson


An Enhanced Entert Since opening its doors in 2009, Allen Event Center has become one of the premiere entertainment venues in North Texas, being home to professional sports franchises, international events, high-profile concerts, family shows and tradeshows. The eye-catching arena seats over 7,000 and averages 300,000 visitors annually, providing an estimated $12 million economic impact to the City of Allen. To enhance the overall entertainment experience, Allen Event Center recently upgraded its video and sound equipment, has brought in a new executive chef (who has served celebrities and high-profile clients from Jerry Seinfeld to KC and The Sunshine Band) and is enhancing the Taste of Premium program to provide a diverse variety of gourmet food options that are not typically available at arenas. “Allen Event Center is committed to providing the best live entertainment experience in DFW,” said David Angeles, General Manager of Allen Event Center. “With these new changes, we’re excited to elevate the arena’s atmosphere to the next level and increase fan engagement.”

Upgraded Equipment Allen Event Center is home to professional sports teams, such as the Allen Americans—an ECHL hockey team. New video and audio equipment at Allen Event Center will provide sports fans with more opportunities to enjoy the gameday experience. Eight new high-definition cameras are located throughout the


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arena to broadcast games, and new camera angles will be available to help capture all of the excitement. Along with the new cameras, there will be less of a delay between game broadcasts on the large video board at the arena and the live action. When it comes to reviewing plays during games, instead of just two, there will now be a four-camera

replay system, allowing for more precision and accuracy. In addition, there will be an enhanced microphone inventory, which will capture all of the true sounds at the events, including pregame performances such as school choirs. Wi-Fi has also been upgraded throughout the arena, and new electronic menu boards have been

ainment Experience by Matt COBB

added to concession stands along with a new touchscreen point-of-sale system for food and beverages.

New Chef The new executive chef at Allen Event Center, Mark Turner, has developed an accomplished resume in the Dallas-Fort Worth culinary scene. A graduate of The Art Institute of

Dallas, Turner’s career has included preparing food for upscale establishments like The Adam’s Mark and Omni hotels to corporate organizations, such as the Compass Group and private events. Chef Mark, who is an Allen resident, believes in cooking from scratch with “fresh, not frozen” and local ingredients. “For our premium level food options, there are going to be highend items that you would not normally see at an event center or arena,” Chef Mark said. “About 90%

watering meals from Allen Event Center’s new chef and some of the area’s finest restaurants before select Allen Americans home hockey games. A new lineup of restaurants will be participating in the premium dining service for the Allen Americans’ 201718 season. The restaurants include Bonefish Grill, Brio Tuscan Grille, On The Border, P.F. Chang’s, Rudy’s BBQ and Silver Thai Cuisine. “This year’s Taste of Premium program at Allen Americans games will enhance Allen Event Center’s premium level experience,” said Randell Holmes,

of it will be from scratch. We’re brining all of our meats, smoking our own turkey and roasting our own roast beef. And, we’re even getting honey from a company here in Allen.”

Director of Sales for Allen Event Center. “We couldn’t be more excited to have Chef Mark and the diverse selection of outstanding area restaurants as a part of Taste of Premium.” To learn more about Allen Event Center, including upcoming events, how to purchase tickets and the Taste of Premium program, please visit AllenEventCenter.com. v

Taste of Premium Allen Event Center offers a Taste of Premium program for suite and club level seats during the Allen Americans hockey season. The dining service gives premium ticket holders the opportunity to enjoy mouth-

Matt Cobb is the senior marketing coordinator for the City of Allen. Allen Image | October 2017




It might be too early for a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne,” but the City of Allen is already turning the page on another fiscal year. The 2016-2017 budget year ended on September 30, capping off twelve months of incredible growth and impressive accolades. Here’s how Allen is building better together.

Accelerated Growth Allen’s population hit 98,391 this year, up from 94,327 in 2016. And, it’s not just new people who are calling Allen home. Commercial development permits reached a multiyear high as numerous businesses decided to expand or relocate in Allen. Oversized scissors and gold-plated shovels appeared in countless ceremonies, from the groundbreaking of Watchguard Video’s new world headquarters to construction of the $91 million Delta by Marriott Hotel and Watters Creek Convention Center to the opening of new data centers just north of Allen Premium Outlets. “Allen is experiencing explosive corporate growth, with $500 million in development breaking ground this year and over $1 billion in new project announcements,” said Dan Bowman, Executive Director and CEO of Allen Economic Development Corporation. “Walkable, mixed-use


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crew began protecting the sewer system from costly leaks and overflows by enforcing rules about fat, oil and grease collection in Allen’s 200+ restaurants. Smoother streets now pave parts of the Central Business District and 140 new school zone signs remind drivers of updated school hours. By administering the Community Development Block Grant, city employees connected more than 100 families with federal funding to help prevent homelessness and preserve Allen’s older neighborhoods. And hundreds of residents pitched in to keep Allen beautiful, collecting 131 tons of litter and recyclables during annual cleanup events planned by city staff.

Impressive Accolades

developments like Watters Creek drove recent relocations such as NETSCOUT and helped Allen become a destination for corporate office users seeking quality amenities for their employees.”

These efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Dallas Morning News named Allen the second-best neighborhood in North Texas in its annual “Best of DFW” rankings. Finance and real estate websites included the city in lists of best places to buy your first (or your “forever”) home. Allen Public Library earned a state award for library excellence—one of only 43 libraries in Texas with this honor. And Keep Texas Beautiful recognized the city’s Community Services staff for helping residents conserve water, pick up litter, plant trees and keep chemicals out of the water system.

Community Enhancements Residents began enjoying better city facilities, too. Ford Pool reopened Memorial Day weekend after a massive renovation, which included new play structures and a 20-foot slide. Allen firefighters are now responding to calls out of the rebuilt Fire Station 2, with larger bays to accommodate equipment such as the department’s new ladder truck. A parking lot expansion is well underway at Allen Public Library to add 106 new spaces by late fall. In east Allen, newly-opened Orchards Park became a favorite neighborhood play spot; in west Allen, construction began on the 75-acre Spirit Park. Residents also have new ways to experience Allen’s history. Two homes at Allen Heritage Village were restored last year to offer a glimpse at life in decades past. A new walking path, accessible near the ball fields at Allen Station Park, gives visitors a scenic tour of the city’s stone dam and historic railroad water station. “It’s probably the most historic place in Allen,” said Mayor Stephen Terrell at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the path, dubbed Water Station Trail. “Now, people have a reason to come and find out where the roots of Allen all began.” Flashy new facilities may snag headlines, but the city invested considerable funding and staff time to keep existing infrastructure in good condition. In May, a new

“This has been a banner year for the City of Allen,” said City Manager Peter Vargas. “Numerous state and national agencies have put a spotlight on our city, recognizing the ways our staff exceed expectations for service and deliver top-notch amenities to Allen residents and businesses.” If that’s not enough to inspire a confetti toss, check out the new video detailing all of Allen’s annual accomplishments. You can find it at CityofAllen.org/ YearInReview. v Chelsey Aprill is a Marketing Specialist for the City of Allen. Allen Image | October 2017


The 2017 Bulb & Perennial Mart by Dawn Bluemel OLDFIELD

Join the Collin County Master Gardeners Association (CCMGA) on Saturday, October 14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., in the Stall Barn at Myers Park & Event Center in McKinney, for the 2017 Bulb & Perennial Mart. Learn more about, and purchase, the best selections of bulbs, iris, perennials and small shrubs for North Texas, pick up August pre-sale orders or take a tour of the gardens. CCMGA will be selling a selection of hard-to-find heritage bulbs and drought-tolerant perennials. The perennials offered are proven winners in the international award-winning Earth-Kind® Research and Demonstration Gardens at Myers Park. These Texas-tough plants will add color and beauty to your garden throughout the year. Returning this year is a limited selection of Tall Bearded Iris that were chosen for their beauty and “wow factor.” Additionally, CCMGA will be offering compost and mulch from Texas Pure Products for sale. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about the benefits of these nutrient-rich products and the best practices on how and when to apply them to the garden. Sponsored by Whole Foods, this is an indoor event so come rain or shine! Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. The event is free and there is no sales tax. Cash or check, Visa, MasterCard and American Express accepted. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own cart. Proceeds from the sale benefit


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community outreach programs and horticultural and water conservation education throughout Collin County. For more information about the 14th Annual Bulb & Perennial Mart,

visit the CCMGA website: ccmgatx. org, or call 972.548.4232. v Dawn Bluemel Oldfield is the CCMGA Public Relations Chairperson.


Pumpkin Patch and Community Fall Festival

Christ the Servant Concert Series

The annual Creekwood Fall Festival will be held Saturday, October 21, 3-6 p.m., at Creekwood United Methodist Church, 261 Country Club Road, Allen (corner of Stacy and Country Club). Admission is free and attendees will be treated to a petting zoo, hay rides, face painting, carnival games, cake walks, a bounce house, balloon animals, hotdogs, popcorn and much more!

Sunday, October 29, marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. What better way to celebrate than with an organ and brass concert featuring one of the top brass ensembles in North Texas!

Friends and families will have the opportunity to pose for portraits at the big red Creekwood barn, believed to be one of the oldest standing barns in Collin County. Take a picture by the barn and post it to social media with #creekwoodpatch. For each posting, Creekwood will donate $10 to the Ten Buys a Hen campaign benefitting the Assistance Center of Collin County providing a holiday turkey for a local family in need. The patch will be stocked with over seven tons of pumpkins, available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting Creekwood youth mission work. Beginning Sunday, October 1, the patch will be open daily from 9 a.m. to dusk.

“The Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival are much-loved community events and we’re blessed to have the property to pull these off,” said senior pastor, David Lessner. “As is the foundation of the harvest season, we invite those in the community to join us in celebrating the abundance in our lives with our families and neighbors.” For more information, please call 214.229.7555 or visit www. creekwoodumc.org. v


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Join us at 7 p.m. for a concert featuring DFW Brass and Jordan Smith, organist. The concert will include music for brass and organ, as well as organ solos and brass ensemble pieces. You can be sure to hear some Bach and sing Martin Luther’s famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” with organ and brass at full tilt! Admission is free, however, freewill donations to support the concert series will be accepted. Christ the Servant Lutheran Church is located at 821 South Greenville Avenue in Allen. Visit us on Facebook or at christtheservant.com. v


Young Life Gala Allen Area Young Life will host their annual Fundraiser Gala on Saturday, November 4, 7-11 p.m. at Southfork Ranch. Everyone is invited to join in the festivities celebrating 15 years in Allen. Young Life is a non-denominational Christian youth organization devoted to spreading God’s word through four separate ministries—Young Life for high school students, Wyld Life for junior high students, Young Lives for teen moms and Young Life Capernum for our friends with special needs. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Allen Area Young Life director, Chris Trevathan. “The proceeds will fund anything and everything we do. It will keep Young Life alive and moving so we can continue to reach out to Allen/Lovejoy high school students and support our ministry.” Tickets are $75 per person and include access to all of the night’s events—a delicious dinner catered by Southfork, a silent and live auction by HGTV Fixer Upper star Jimmy Don Holmes, dancing, socializing and live country music performed by Cooper Wade. “Our fundraiser is a party with a purpose. This is for the kids and for Young Life, but we’re doing this for adults as well. There are so many facets to our ministry and everyone can serve a purpose.” For more information, visit www.allenareayl.younglife.org/. Tickets may be purchased online at www.AllenAreaYL.com. v

Light Has Come: The Angel’s Story With high energy programs and powerful delivery, Ballet Magnificat! shatters the stereotypical image of ballet. Their professional touring companies will come together for one night only to present their acclaimed ballet, Light Has Come: The Angel’s Story. Ballet Magnificat! will be at the Charles W. Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson, on October 15, at 7 p.m. Come enjoy an evening of Christian ballet. Tickets are available through the Eisemann Center at https://www.eisemanncenter.com/event/ i/5508/d/ballet-magnificat or http://youthballetoftexas.org. Ballet Magnificat! will provide a ballet workshop at Texas Youth Ballet Conservatory in McKinney, in association with the Light Has Come performance on October 16 and 17, 4-9 p.m. at the Texas Youth Ballet Conservatory, 901 N. McDonald, Suite 705, McKinney. For more information about the performance or the workshop, please visit www.texasyouthballet.com. v

Allen Image | October 2017






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

14 Plano International Festival at Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th St., Plano, 11 am-5 pm. The area’s largest cultural event offers food, fun and entertainment for the whole family. Multicultural music, dance performances, ethnic food trucks and cultural displays. Hands-on children’s activities, foreign film screening, flag parade and the only outdoor naturalization ceremony. Fitness and Wellness Fair, 10 am-1 pm. Free health screenings and flu shots. Admission and parking are free. For more info: planointernationalfestival.org. 28 Allen Eagle Home Run Club Golf Tournament, Twin Creeks Golf Club, 501 Twin Creeks Drive, Allen. Join us for 18 holes of golf followed by a dinner, silent auction, raffles and door prizes. Check-in is at 12:30 pm, and shotgun start is at 1:30 pm. Fees are $110 per person or $400 for a foursome; dinner and silent auction only is $20. For more information or the register online, go to www. alleneaglebaseballhrc.com.

WATTERS CREEK CONCERTS BY THE CREEK For the most up-to-date information on events, visit www.watterscreek.com 7 Havana NRG (Latin fusion) 14 All Funk Radio (Motown/R&B) 21 Rockestra (Symphonic Rock) 28 Infinite Journey (Journey Tribute Band)


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1 Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience 21-22 Allen Americans v. Orlando Solar Bears 25 Health Hustle 29 Allen Americans v. Tulsa Oilers

Tournament scoring will follow a Stableford format and will be flighted based on team handicap. Register online at WattersCreekGolf.com. All ages welcome. 13 SNAP Dance, Allen Senior Recreation Center, 7-10 pm, ages 18+. Special Needs and Adapted Program! Enjoy music, a fun theme and snacks. This month’s theme is Halloween! For info, contact Ryan Patterson at rmpatterson@cityofallen.org or 214.509.4753. Cost: $10 Pre-registration/$15 at 5 pm on Wednesday prior to dance.

For more information about Parks and Recreation events, visit AllenParks.org.

14-15 Family Night: Campout & Movie at Bethany Lakes Park (Joe Farmer Rec Center), 3 pm-9 am, all ages. Free for 2 years and under/$10 per person/$60 family cap. Camp out under the stars and enjoy some quality family fun! Fee will include access to crafts/games, pumpkin carving and more! At dusk, participants can enjoy a movie in the amphitheater followed by our traditional night hike.

6, 13, 20 & 27 Pumpkin Derby Workshop at The Edge (Computer Room). Need help building your Derby Racer? TEVC will be offering free workshops to help install axles on your Derby Racer. Derby Kits will be on sale for $10 and include all hardware and wheels needed. (Pumpkins not provided.) 5-7 pm, ages 6-18. Cost: Free.

20 Halloween Bash at the Nat—Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium, 8:30-11 pm, ages 17+. $10 per person/$15 couples. Join us for a night of spooky fun. We’ll be hosting a Halloween costume contest followed by a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show! Prizes will be given to the best male and female costumes. We’re staying open late for this unique Halloween experience.



Community Garage Sale at Joe Farmer Recreation Center (Parking Lot). Make some extra money selling items you were thinking of throwing away! Become a vendor—each space is 17’x10’ and vendors must provide their own tables and chairs. Browsing is free to the public. 7 am-noon ages 17+. 1 space-$20; 2 spaces-$35; 3 spaces-$50.

7-8 Dawson Private Wealth Collin County Tournament of Champions at The Courses at Watters Creek, 7:30 am tee times on Saturday and Sunday. Two-person team golf tournament for players of all skill levels. At least one player per team must reside in Collin County.

28 Arbor Day Celebration at Twin Creeks Park, 9 a.m. to noon, all ages, free. Join Allen Parks and Recreation for our annual Arbor Day Celebration. Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Tree plantings and educational arts and crafts are part of the celebration activities. 28 Halloween Skate at Allen Community Ice Rink, 11:45 am to 1:45 pm, all ages. $5 entry/$3 skate rental. Get in the spirit of Halloween at Halloween Skate. There will be candy, raffles and much more. All on-ice participants must wear skates. Those who dress up in their costumes will receive a free skate rental.

28 Pumpkin Derby at The Edge, noon-2:45 pm, ages 5-17. Cost: $10. This is a fun-spirited event with side-by-side races featuring handcrafted, decorated Pumpkin Racers in a display of American ingenuity. Excitement builds as Derby Racers battle head-to-head. Awards will also be given for Best Design. 28 Howl-O-Ween Barkin’ Bash at Bethany Lakes Park (Joe Farmer Rec Center), 1-3 pm, all ages, free. Dress up your dog and join the fun at Howl-O-Ween Barkin’ Bash! Contests, dog demonstrations, games, raffles and more! It’s going to be a HOWL of a good time! Interested in sponsoring? Call 214.509.4750.

ALLEN PUBLIC LIBRARY Celebrating 50 years!

YOUTH SERVICES Story Times are held in the Children’s Program Room. All story times are free and no registration is required to attend. For more information, call 214.509.4906. Baby and Me, for pre-walkers with caregiver, Wednesdays at 10:15 am. Fun Ones & Twos, for 1 & 2 year-olds with caregiver, Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays at 10:15 am. Together Time, for 3-5 year-olds with caregiver, Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11:15 am. All By Myself, for 4-5 year-olds without caregiver, Wednesdays at 11:15 am. Pajama Time, for 3-5 year-olds with caregiver, Tuesdays at 6:30 pm.

EVENTS FOR FAMILIES & CHILDREN For more information about any of the events below, call 214.509.4906. All events are free and no pre-registration is required. Events are in the Children’s Program Room except where noted. In-N-Out Cover-to-Cover Reading Club, ages 4-12 only. Register at the Library’s Children’s Desk starting Monday, October 9, ends November 18. Children read five books to earn a coupon for a free In-N-Out treat. 6

Music and Movement, 10:30-11 am, ages 2 & up with caregivers. We sing, dance, and make music! Limited to 80. Free tickets will be available 30 minutes before the start of each story time at the Children’s Desk.


Bilingual Mandarin English Story Time, 10:30-11 am & 11-11:30 am. Enjoy a bilingual story time in Mandarin Chinese and English with stories, rhymes and songs. Limit 100 participants. Free tickets available 30 minutes before the start of each story time at the Children’s Desk.


Spooky STEM Science, 3-4 pm, ages 8-12. Get ready for Halloween with spooky science experiments!

10 Homeschool Art Sparks: Tesselations, 1:30-2:30 pm, ages 8-12, but all ages welcome. An art appreciation and visual literacy program designed by Allen Arts Alliance. Learn about and create your own Tessellations. 11 First Chapter Book Club, 4:30-5:30 pm, ages 5-8. Have you read every Magic Tree House book and need something new? Each month, we’ll read aloud the first chapter of a new series and enjoy a project inspired by what we read. 13 Animal Yoga, 10:30-11;15 am & 11:15 am-12 pm, ages 3-5 with caregivers. Join us for a relaxing morning of stories and animal-themed yoga. Each program is limited to 40. Free tickets will be available 30 minutes before the start of each story time at the Children’s Desk. 14 50th Birthday Bash, 10-11:30 am, all ages. Celebrate the Library’s 50th birthday with an outdoor carnival-style party in the courtyard. We’ll have music, crafts, games and prizes! 17 How to Draw, 4:30-5 pm, ages 5-8. Learn a new technique and create a new character every month. All materials provided. Allen Image | October 2017


18 Make It & Take It, 4:30-5:30 pm, ages 8-12. Join us each month for a new and awesome craft project! This month: make your own fidget spinner!

18 Ladies Night Out Book Club, 7-8 pm. Come join us in a discussion of In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. Free; no registration.

19 Explore Horizons Homeschool Workshop, Flat Stanley, 1:30-2:30 pm, recommended for ages 5-8, but all ages welcome. Explore storytelling and writing with this classic tale from Jeff Brown. Pre-registration required to attend. To register your family, call the Youth Services Desk at 214.509.4906.

24 Learn to Knit, 10:30 am–noon. Learn the basics of knitting. Learn how to cast on, bind off and the knit stitch. Supplies are limited. For best selection, please bring a pair of bamboo needles (size 10 or 10.5) and a skein of worsted weight yarn.

20 Sensory Play Day, 10:30-11:30 am, ages 0-3 with caregivers. Join us for a relaxed morning of stimulating sensory play stations. 21 Lego Family Fun Day, 10:30-11:30 am, ages 5 & up with their families. Build STEM skills and create with LEGO at the library! This month’s theme: mad science! Children under the age of 9 must be accompanied by an adult. 23 Build It: Snap Circuits, 3-4 pm, ages 7-12. Join us every other month for this program where we test our building, coding, and other skills. 25 Princess in Black Party, 4:30-5:30 pm, ages 5 & up with families. Come be an amazing, monster-fighting princess with us! Crafts, games, and fun! 27 Halloween Story Time, 10:30-11:15 am & 11:30am12:15 pm, ages 2 & up with families in the auditorium. Enjoy a Halloween themed story time and show off your costume! Free tickets available 30 minutes before the start of each story time at the Children’s Desk. 28 Family Game Day, 10:30-11:30 am, all ages. Have fun playing games with friends and family while gaining problem-solving skills and increasing your creativity. Games for all ages from pre-readers to adults. All games are provided. Children under age 9 must be accompanied by an adult.

TEENS (AGES 12-18) For more information about any of the events below, call 214.509.4906. All events are free and no pre-registration is required to attend. Ages listed are firm. 12 Anime Evening, 6:30-8 pm, in the Upstairs Program Room. Come enjoy an evening of anime, Japanese snacks and crafts!

ADULTS Adult services programs are held in the 2nd Floor Program Room, free with no registration—ages 18+ unless otherwise indicated. Please call 214.509.4905 or 214.509.4913, or check AllenLibrary.org. 4

Noontime Pageturners Book Club, The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis,12-1 pm. Join us for a lively discussion! We offer a relaxed environment where you can share the joy of reading. New members welcome.


Trivia Night @ Nine Band Brewing Co., 6-8 pm, off-site at Nine Band Brewing Co., 9 Prestige Circle, Allen. Ages 21+. Team up with your friends to test your knowledge of beer, literature, history, science and more! Keep teams to six or fewer members. The tap room has draft beer for purchase; the library will not provide alcohol.

11 Twisted Threads—A Fiber Craft Circle, 6:308:30 pm. This is a social group for knitters, crocheters, cross-stitchers, quilters and any crafters who use thread or yarn! All skill levels welcome! Work on your latest project in the company of other crafters. Ages 18+; no childcare provided. 17 Nonfiction Book Buzz!, 7-8 pm. The Let’s Talk Dewey Nonfiction Book Club welcomes Penguin Random House rep Robert Haddock as he shares new and forthcoming nonfiction books. He’ll bring advanced reader copies and “Keep Calm and Read On” tote bags for attendees. No pre-reading necessary; all welcome! 18 DIY@APL-Handmade Greeting Cards, 10-11:30 am. Make your own personalized greeting cards using scrapbook paper, buttons, washi tape and more. It’s fun and easy! All supplies will be provided. Ages 16+.


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2ChangeU Toastmasters, meets every Tuesday, 7 pm, Plano Family YMCA, 3300 McDermott Rd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.2changeu.org. Allen Area Patriots, meets the 4th Thursday each month, 7-8:45 pm, Allen Municipal Building, 301 Century Pkwy. Allen. Local Tea Party presents speakers, encourages citizens to participate. For more info: www.AllenAreaPatriots.com. Allen Garden Club, meets the first Thursday each month, 7 pm, gardening talks by area experts, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main. For more info: Denise Webre, 972.390.8536 or www. allengardenclub.org. Allen Heritage Guild, meets first Wednesday each month, 6:30 pm, Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main. Programs feature guest speakers on topics of historical significance. For more info: 972.740.8017 or www.allenheritageguild.org. ALLen Reads meets the 2nd Monday each month, Board Room, Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Dr. For more info, www.allenfriends.org. Allen Retired Educators meet the third Monday each month, 10:30 am, Heritage Ranch Country Club, 465 Scenic Ranch Circle, Fairview. RSVP: Sondra Long, billysondralong@tx.rr.com. Allen Toastmasters’ Club, meets every Monday, 6:30 pm, Train Depot, 100 E. Main, Allen. Guests welcome. For more info: Joe Nave at 214.566.3100. American Association of University Women-Plano/Collin County Branch, meets 2nd Monday each month, 6:45 pm, 2nd Floor Conservatory, Senior Living Center, 6401 Ohio Dr., Plano. Open to anyone with assoc. or bachelors degree interested in helping women. For more info: Carol, 972.862.3460. Art History Brown Bag Series, meets first Wednesday each month, 12:30-1:30 pm, Heard-Craig Carriage House, 205 W. Hunt St., McKinney. Lectures by Annie Royer. Bring lunch. For more info: 972.569.6909 or www.heardcraig.org. Bible Study, meets every Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, Community North Baptist Church, 2500 Community Avenue, McKinney. Bible study for women and children. Studying Luke. Reg. req. For more info: katpf@att.nett or mckinneyallen.cbsclass.org. Collin County Aggie Moms, meets 3rd Monday each month, 7 pm, Texas A&M Ext. Center, 17360 Coit Road. For more info: 972.382.3124 or www.collincountymoms. aggienetwork.com. Collin County Archaeology Society, meets second Tuesday each month, 7 pm, Texas Star Bank, McKinney. For more info: archaeology@netzero.net. Collin County Genealogical Society, meets the second Wednesday each month, 7 pm, Haggard Library, 2501 Coit Rd, Plano. For more info: ccgs.programs@gmail.com. Collin County Libertarian Party meets second Wednesday each month, at 5th Street Pizza, 111 Central Expwy., Allen. For more info: collinlp.org or email collinlp.org@gmail.com.

Collin County Master Gardeneers tour of Myers Park, meets first Wednesday each month, 10 am, 7117 County Rd. 166, McKinney. Reservations required. For more info: 972.548.4232 or mgcollin@ag.tamu.edu. Collin County Republican Men’s Club, meets the third Thursday each month, 7 pm, locations vary. For more info: www.ccrmc.org. Dallas Dog Lovers, events for dogs and owners in the Dallas area. For more info: www.dallasdoglovers.com Department 56 Village Collectors Club meets second Saturday each month in Plano/North Dallas to share ideas. For more info: www.bigd56ers.com. Ericsson Village Toastmasters Club, meets every Monday, 12-1 pm, Ericsson, 6300 Legacy, Plano. Guests welcome. For more info: Per Treven, 972.583.8273 or per.treven@ericsson.com. First Nighter African Violet Society, meets the third Monday each month, 7-9 pm, Collin Higher Education Center, 3452 Spur 399, McKinney. Promotes interest in African violets and study of growth habits. For more info: 972.398.3478. Friends of the Allen Public Library meets third Wednesday each month, Board Room, Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Dr. For more info, www.allenfriends.org. Gaslighters Book Review Club meets the third Wednesday every month September thru May at the Heard Craig House, 205 W. Hunt Street, McKinney, refreshments at noon, speaker at 1 pm. For more info: LaRue Whatley, 423.585.4983. Greater Collin County Kennel Club, meets third Wednesday each month, 7:30 pm, Joe Farmer Rec Center, 1201 E. Bethany, Allen. For more info: www.greatercollinkc.org.

Legacy 4-H Club (Allen & Lucas), meets first and third Tuesday each month, 7 pm, Lovejoy High School, Lucas. For more info: kathrin_esposito@asus.com or 214.616.2460. Lone Star Parliamentary Unit, meets 2nd Monday of each month September thru May 10:30 am, Allen Public Library. Promotes parliamentary education. For more info: 972.727.3090, Mae Shaw, Pres. Lovejoy Preschool PTA. Monthly meetings at Creekwood UMC, 2nd Thursday each month, 261 Country Club Rd, Fairview. Different topic & speakers. Free lunch; babysitting available for nominal fee. For more info: www.lovejoypa.org, meetup.com/Lovejoy-PreschoolPTA/. McKinney Amateur Radio Club, meets second Tuesday each month, 7 pm, Spring Creek Bar B Que 1993 North Central Expressway, McKinney. For more information: 972.814.4190. McKinney Area Newcomers’ Club, meets third Tuesday each month, 9:30 am, social; 10 am meeting, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 5871 W. Virginia Pkwy., McKinney. October program: Rick Wells, owner of Rick’s Chop House and Harvest. For more info: www.mckinneynewcomers.com. McKinney Area Republican Co-Ed Club, meets second Thursday each month, 7 pm, Collin County GOP Hdqts., 8416 Stacey Rd., #100, McKinney. Location varies. For more info: collincountyconservativerepublicans.com. Moms in Prayer, join worldwide prayer movement—bringing mothers together and seeing God change children through prayer. For more info: MomsInPrayer.org or Amy Guthrie at amyguthrie@ verizon.net..

NARFE Chapter 559, meets third Monday each month, 1:30 pm, Village of Stonebridge Assisted Living, 3300 S. Stonebridge Drive, McKinney. All current government employees and retirees invited. Nar-Anon Family Group, meets every Wednesday, 7:308:30 pm, at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 750 W. Lucas Road, Lucas. Fellowship for those affected by someone else’s addiction. For more info: Jerry or Carla, 972.837.6558 or pony100k@icloud. com. Newcomer Friends of Greater Plano, meets second Tuesday each month, SMU in Plano, 5228 Tennyson Pkwy, Plano. All are welcome to join. October program: Brittany Underwood, founder and CEO of the non-profit Akola World Project. For more info: www.newcomerfriends.org. North Dallas Newcomers, meets first Thursday each month, 11 am, various country clubs. For more info: www.northdallasnewcomers.net. Open Forum, meaningful discussions, meets first Saturday every month, 3 pm, Delaney’s Pub, 6150 W. Eldorado Pkwy., McKinney. For more info: Charlie, 214.585.0004. Plano Amateur Radio Klub, meets the third Monday each month, 7 pm, FUMC of Plano, 3160 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano, all welcome. For more info: www.K5PRK.net. Plano Photography Club, meets the 3rd Thursday each month, 7 pm, W. Plano Presbyterian Church, 2709 Custer Rd., Plano. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.planophotographyclub.com. Plano Republican Women’s Club, meets 3rd Tuesday each month, 11:30 am, Southfork Hotel, 1600 N. Central Expy., Plano. For more info: www.planorepublicanwomen.com.

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Prelude Clubhouse, a community center for adults living with a mental illness meets at Vintage Church on E. Lamar Street, McKinney. Open Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 am-4 pm. For more information, please call 469.301.6639 or www. preludeclubhouse.org.

Reasonable Faith Collin County Chapter, meets 2nd and 4th Thursday, 6:45-8:30 pm, Cottonwood Creek Church, Rm B202. For more info: www.RFCCTX.org and email: ReasonableFaithCollinCO@gmail.com.

United Methodist Women’s Reading Group, meets 1st Sunday each month, 2 pm, FUMC, 601 S. Greenville. Book discussion & refreshments. We encourage women of all faiths to participate. For more info: http://www.fumcallen.org.

Preston Persuaders Toastmasters, meets every Monday, 7:15 pm, Champions School of Real Estate in the Rangers Room at 3721 Mapleshade Ln, Plano. For more info: Ed Meissner, 469.323.0538 or Todd Richardson, 214.497.4495 or www.prestonpersuaders.org.

Single Side Up, meets the third Saturday each month, 7 pm, This Side Up Family Center, 1100 Capital Ave., Plano. Single parent support group. Low cost childcare. For more info: www.singlesideup.org or info@thissideupfamily.org.

Volunteer Master Gardeners offer landscaping and gardening advice, every Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am-4 pm. Texas A&M’s Co-op Extension, 825 N. McDonald #150, McKinney. For more info: 972.548.4232 or 972.424.1460.

Texas Nationalist Movement-Collin County Chapter, meets 1st Tuesday each month, 6:30 pm at Scotty P’s restaurant in Allen, 109 Central Expy N #501, Allen. If you love Texas and value our independent spirit, come join us!

Voyagers Social Club of McKinney, meets 4th Thursday each month, 10 am, Eldorado Country Club, 2604 Country Club, McKinney. Social club open to women in McKinney and surrounding areas. For more info: voyagersofmckinney@gmail.com.

Random Events Dallas, laid back, fun, diverse social group with meetups in Dallas area. For more info: RandomEventsDallas.com. Reasonable Faith Discussion Group, meets every Tuesday, 11am-12:30 pm, Cottonwood Creek Church Rm B1116. For more info: www.RFCCTX.org..

Toastmasters SpeakUp Allen, meets every Wednesday, “Become the Speaker and Leader You Can Be,” 7 pm, IHOP, 315 Central Expwy, Allen. For more info: Bill Peterson, 972.523.9425.

ART/MUSIC/THEATRE Allen Folk Music Society, meets 3rd Saturday each month, 7-10 pm, The Blue House, 102 S. Allen Dr. Bring snacks to share. For more info: www.twiceasfar.com. Allen Symphony Chorus rehearsals, every Monday, 7-9 pm, choir room at First UMC. For more info: Henry@WealthManagementGroupLLC.com.

CRAFTS Allen Quilters’ Guild, meets the third Thursday each month, 7 pm, 1st Presbyterian Church, 605 S. Greenville. For more info: www.allenquilters.org. Common Threads of Allen, meets 1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month, 7 pm, Whole Foods Market Café, Stacy Rd. Share needle-work projects, learn techniques, etc. For more info: contact Debi Maige at 214.704.0994 or debik@ verizon.net.

HEALTH Allen AA meets every Monday-Sunday, 601 S. Greenville. Mon.-Fri., 7 pm; Sat., 9 am; Sun., 7:30 pm. For more info: Joe, 214.564.9403 & Tina, 214.566.7561. Allen-Frisco-Plano Autism Spectrum Parents Group meets third Tuesday each month. Offers support and resources for parents of children with autism and other related developmental disabilities. Join online group at http://health. groups.yahoo.com/group/autismparentsupport. Allen Serenity Al-Anon Family Group, meets every Tuesday and Thursday, 7 pm, 1st UMC, Wesley House, 601 S. Greenville. For friends and family of alcoholics. More info: 214.363.0461 or www.al-anon.alateen.org. American Cancer Society Road to Recovery needs volunteers to drive cancer patients to appts. If you have a car and have time 9 am-5 pm, you can help. For more info: Debbie Moen, 972.712.5711. Baylor Health Care System support groups, medical info and events. For more info: www.BaylorHealth.com. Cancer Support Ministry, meets second Sunday each month, 4 pm, 1st Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E101. For more info: Jimmy Smith, 972.727.8241. Heart Link Women’s Networking group, women only business networking. Monthly meetings. Days and locations vary. For more info: www.75013.theheartlinknetwork.com.


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National Alliance of Mental Illness Collin County Support Groups meet every Thursday evening, 6:30-8 pm at Custer Road United Methodist Church in the basement, 6601 Custer Road, Plano. There is one support group for persons with a mental illness and another group further down the hall for friends and/or family. Take Off Pounds Sensibly, meets every Tuesday, 6:15-8 pm, Good Shepherd UMC, 750 W. Lucas Road, Lucas. For more info: 1.800.YEA.TOPS or www.tops.org. Texas Health Presbyterian, variety of events. For more info: www.texashealth.org. The Shores AA Group, every Monday-Friday, noon, Raceway Prof. Bldg., 200 W. Boyd, Suite C, Allen. Open AA discussion group. All welcome. For more info: 469.854.9593. Weight Watchers, meets every Thursday, 12:15 and 6 pm, 1st United Methodist Church, 600 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. South entrance, 2nd floor.

HOBBIES SPORTS/FITNESS Allen Classic Cars, meets every Thursday, 7-10 pm, 103-111 N. Central, parking lot of Stacy Furniture. The Experiment Aircraft Association, Chapter 1246, meets first Saturday each month, McKinney National Airport. Everyone interested in aviation is invited. For times and directions: eaa1246.org.

Fit and Funky Fit Club, meets every Monday, 7:30 pm, & every Sunday, 7 pm, Unlimited Success Martial Arts, 604 W. Bethany #208, Allen. Work out to p90x, Insanity, etc. Free. For more info: fitandfunky@att.net. Infinity Personal Fitness Charity Workout, meets every other Saturday at 9 am, 1201 W. McDermott, Suite 106, Allen. Min. donation $5. Proceeds donated to local charities. For more info: email cattaneo.ray@gmail.com. McKinney Chess on the Square, meets every Wednesday, 4-7 pm, Downtown McKinney Performing Arts Center. Open play & lessons. For more info, 214.620.0527 or mckinneychess.org. McKinney Chess Club, every Saturday, 10:30 am-1:30 pm, McKinney Public Library, 101 E Hunt St. Free. And every Friday, 2-5 pm, Senior Center, 1400 South College Street, McKinney. Adults 50+(Free). For more info: 972.547.7491. Plano Bicycle Association, club rides, social activities, monthly meetings, newsletters. For more info: Chris Mathews, 972.964.2869 or www. planobicycle.org. Plano Pacers run at Schimelpfenig Library parking lot, second Tuesday each month, 5024 Custer, Plano, 7 pm., and at Bob Woodruff Park on San Gabriel Rd., Plano, the last Saturday every month, 8 am. For more info: Bob Wilmot, 972.678.2244 or www.planopacers. org. Skilled Motorcycle Riders Association promotes motorcycle safety through rider training. Monthly practice courses, social activities, etc. For more info: www.skilledmotorcycleriderassociation.com. Stroller Strides Classes. For class information, check out Fairview.fit4mom.com. First class Free, email Lolo@fit4mom.com. For more info: Fairview.fit4mom.com.

Zumba/Cardio Dance Fitness, every Tues., 10:30-11:30 am, and every Thurs., 9:30-10:30 am, USA Martial Arts, 505 W. McDermott. 1st class free. For more info: 469.854.6872 or Facebook.com/ TrueBlueDanceCrew.


Allen Early Childhood PTA, support for parents and caregivers of kids age 0-5. Fun activities. Play groups, park days, lunch w/friends, field trips, Mom’s Night Out, Dads & Kids, etc. For more info: www.aecpta.com or information@aecpta.com. Allen/McKinney Area Mothers of Multiples, new and expectant moms’ forum, meets third Thursday each month, 7 pm, First Christian Church, 1800 W. Hunt, McKinney. For more info: www.amamom.org or 972.260.9330. Collin County Early Childhood PTA, meets second Monday each month, 9:45 am, Parkway Hills Baptist Church, 2700 Dallas Pkwy., Plano. Nursery res. req. For more info: Suzanne Judkins, 972.712.3634. MOMS Club of Allen, for moms and children in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Monthly playgroups, kid field trips, business tours, special events, Mom’s Night Out and more. For more info: momsclubofallentx@gmail.com. MOMS Club McKinney Central, support group for stay-athome moms. Play groups, daytime activities, Mom’s Night Out, parties, babysitting co-op, etc. For more info: MckinneyMoms@yahoo.com. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), support group for moms with kids 0-5 years, meets every other Friday, 9:30-11:45 am, First Baptist Church, Allen. Childcare provided. For more info: 972.727.8241.

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MOPS of Hope Plano, Hope Community Church, meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month, 9:30-11:30 am, 3405 Custer, #200, Plano. For more info: 214.762.0037. Walking by Faith, offers prayer and practical support for mothers of children with special needs. Meets third Wednesday of each month (during the school year), at 6 pm, First Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm B214. Childcare is provided with advance reservations. For more info: Stacie Smith, staciesmithslp@gmail.com.

MUSEUMS/PRESERVES ALLEN HERITAGE GUILD MUSEUM Open 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm, 100 E. Main Street, Allen. Permanent and rotating exhibits, historic photo collages and DVD programs on Allen history. For more info: www.allenheritageguild.org.

CONNEMARA MEADOW PRESERVE Bird Walk at the Connemara Meadow Preserve, monthly alternating first Saturday and the first Sunday, 8-10 am, Allen. Bring binoculars and field guides; learn habits, calls and characteristics from Gailon and Rodney, Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society. All ages. For more info: www.connemaraconservancy.org.

HEARD MUSEUM Saturday Bird Walk Educational Program, 8 am. Learn more about birding! These walks are intended to help beginning and intermediate birders with bird spotting and identification techniques. Blackland Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, meets the second Tuesday each month, 7-9 pm, Heard Museum, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.bptmn.org or email info@bptmn.org. Heard Museum Collin County Hobby Beekeepers, meets second Monday each month, 7 pm, Heard Craig Center, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566 or www.northtexasbeekeepers.org. Heard Museum Native Plant Society, meets the first Tuesday each month, 7:30 pm, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566. Heard Museum Nature Photography Club, meets the second Saturday each month, 1:30 pm, Heard Museum, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566. Heard Museum Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society, meets the fourth Tuesday each month, 7 pm, 1 Nature Place, McKinney. For more info: 972.562.5566. Third Saturday Nature Talks: Nature Journaling. Learn new ways to experience nature through nature journaling! An intro to journaling techniques thru hands-on activities.

SENIORS Active Agers 55+ meets 2nd Saturday, 10 am, upstairs at Market Street in McKinney (Eldorado at Ridge). Pre-travel meeting monthly to plan activities from day trips, weekend getaways to fun local events providing the chance to experience new places, to meet new people, and the opportunity to make new lasting friendships. For more information contact Sharon at rettmeier@sbcglobal.net or Pat at PatVanDyke@sbcglobal.net.


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Allen Senior Citizens Luncheon, meets second Tuesday each month, 11:30 am, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville. For more info: 214.509.4820. Allen Seniors Genealogy Club, meets 4th Monday each month, 1 pm, Allen Seniors Center. Must be member of ASRC. For more info: www.asgconline.com. Classic 55+ Game Night, 1st and 3rd Friday each month, 6:30 pm, 1st Baptist Church Allen, 201 E. McDermott, Rm E104. Snacks, fellowship and games. For more info: 972.727.8241 or Eddie Huckabee at huckgolf@ hotmail.com. Singles Mingle 60+, meets first Monday each month at Delaney’s Irish Pub, 6150 Eldorado Parkway, McKinney. This group is to provide a social forum for men and women singles who are active, enjoy meeting new people and like getting together twice a month. We have various social activities throughout the month. For more info: For meeting information on the third Monday of the month at 5:30 pm, call Bill, 214.544.5835. Xtra Years of Zest Seniors Luncheon, meets the third Thursday each month, noon, First UMC Allen, 601 S. Greenville, Fellowship Hall. Lunch, fellowship, speakers and entertainers. For more info: jgarling@swbell.net.

SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS ALLEN/FAIRVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Issues Breakfast meets quarterly at Hilton Garden Inn, 8 am. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com. Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce MOB (Men of Business), meets 2nd Monday every other month, 11:30 am1 pm, Kelly’s at theVillage, Allen, for networking. $20 mem; $25 non-mems/general public. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com. Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce Tuesday Morning Live networking breakfast, every Tuesday, 7:30 am, Fairview Town Center, 311 Town Place, Fairview (former location of Wyland’s Ocean Blue restaurant). $1 member/$5 non-members 1st visit free. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com. Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce W.I.S.E. (Women in Support of Enterprise), meets 2nd Thursday every other month, 11:30 am. Location varies. Networking and discussion of women’s issues. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com. Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Luncheon, meets fourth Tuesday, 11:30 am-1 pm, Hilton Garden Inn, Allen. $20 member/$25 guest. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com. Allen/Fairview Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Breakfast, meets monthly at Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q, 1790 N. Central Expwy., Allen, 8 am. $15 members/$20 nonmembers. For more info: www.allenfairviewchamber.com. Allen High Noon Lions Club, meets second and fourth Thursday each month, 5th Street Pizza (inside Stacy Furniture), 111 Central Expwy. S. For more info: Peter Young, 972.849.4952. Allen Kiwanis Club, meets every Thursday, noon, Bonefish Grill, 190 E Stacy Rd #100. Visitors welcome. For more info: www.allenkiwanis.org. Allen Lions Club, meets first and third Tuesday each month, 7pm, Kelly’s at the Village, 190 E. Stacy Rd., #1204, Allen. For more info: Bob Schwerd, Secretary, 214.402.0982.

Allen Masonic Lodge No. 1435, meets second Tuesday each month, 7:30 pm at 101 North Allen Drive. Dinner is served at 6:30 pm. For more info: www:allenlodge1435.org. Allen Rotary Club meets every Wednesday, noon, 1st United Methodist Church, 601 S. Greenville, Allen. For more info: www.allenrotary.org. Allen Sunrise Rotary Club, meets every Wednesday, 7 am, Warm Springs Hospital, 1001 Raintree Cir., Allen. For more info: 972.673.8221 or www.allensunriserotary.com. Assistance League® of Greater Collin County, meets third Wednesday, 10 am at Stonebriar County Club, Frisco. Guests welcome. For more info: www.algcc.org or call 972.769.2299. Daughters of the American Revolution, NSDAR, The General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter, meets third Tuesday each month. For more info:GenBernadoDeGalvez@gmail.com. Fairview Rotary Club, meets second and fourth Thursday each month, Stacy Rd, Fairview. For more info: 214.893.5360. FUMC Legal Aid Clinic meets second Thursday each month, 6-8 pm, First UMC, 601 S. Greenville Ave., Allen. Provides legal assistance for civil matters to low income individuals in partnership withLegal Aid of NW Texas. No reservation required. Food & fellowship provided. For more info: kim.klieger@gmail.com or www.lanwt.org. Knights of Columbus, meets third Thursday each month, 7:30 pm, St. Jude Catholic Church, 1515 N. Greenville, Allen. For more info: Steve Nagy, 469.569.3357 or www.stjudekofc.org. Knights of Columbus Council 13044 meets fourth Thursday each month, 7:30 pm, Our Lady of Angels, 1914 Ridgeview Drive, Allen. For more information contact Jason at jason.beckett.1@gmail.com, or visit us at https://kofcknights.org/CouncilSite/?CNO=13044. Sons of Confederate Veterans, William H. L. Wells Camp, No. 1588, meets the second Monday each month, 7 pm, Tino’s Too Restaurant, 2205 Ave. K, Plano. Speakers, programs, etc. Open to anyone interested. For more info: Lloyd Campbell, 972.442.5982. VFW “Lone Star Post 2150,” meets second Monday each month, 1710 N. Church St, McKinney. Post Members, 6:30 pm; Ladies Auxiliary at 5:45 pm; Men’s Auxiliary at 6:30 pm. For more info: 972.542.9119, gmlsp2150@gmail.com or visit on web: www.vfwpost2150.org. VFW “Lone Star Post 2150” Motorcycle Group 33, meets first Saturday each month, 10 am, 1710 N. Church St., McKinney. For more info: “Driveway John” 971.822.4483, gmlsp2150@ gmail.com or visit www.vfwpost2150.org. VFW Post 2195, meets second Wednesday each month, 7:30 pm, Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, 1015 Hwy. 121, Allen. For more info: Larry Nordgaard, 972.727.9956 or www.vfw2195. org. Vrooman’s Regiment, Children of the American Revolution, teaches children to serve their community, meets second Saturday each month. For more info: 972.396.8010.

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.


Allen Image | October 2017



The Reformation: A Journey Together by Tom KEENER

Ron Fejeran

Theologian and priest Martin Luther published his 95 Theses in October 1517, touching off what came to be known as The Reformation. This led to deep divisions within the church, followed by extreme social and political changes, often brutal, across Europe. Acknowledging the 500th anniversary of this event, Deacon Ron Fejeran of the Diocese of Dallas and Pastor Gordon Illausky of the Christ the Servant Lutheran Church will reflect on the past 500 years in a free program at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 12. The speakers aim for a more harmonious future, with insights for healing and understanding being offered. A deacon of the Diocese of Dallas, Ron Fejeran has been affiliated with St. Jude Catholic Church in Allen as a deacon for 25 years. He has served as Minister of Pastoral Care at St. Jude since 2004. In this capacity, Deacon


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Ron has ministered to thousands in time of need, addressing spiritual, physical, emotional and mental healing in their lives. Directing the Collin County Juvenile Detention Center-St. Jude Volunteer Ministry Program, he visits, and spiritually

Pastor Gordon Illausky

counsels, adult inmates on an as-needed basis when requested by the Diocese or a family member. Serving at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in Allen since 2006, Pastor Gordon Illausky is passionate about preaching God’s Word and the Sacraments of the Church. Over the years he has provided pastoral care in a number of crisis situations. Also a talented musician, he is a vocalist and pianist who has performed in multiple theater, operatic and musical venues. Pastor Illausky holds a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Andover Newton Theological Seminary and formerly served as chaplain for Boston City Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Call 214.509.4911 for more information. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

The Levee Singers by Tom KEENER

The Levee Singers are at it again! As part of the library’s golden anniversary celebration, these legends of the 60s will perform in a free concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 14, in the auditorium. A long-time Dallas favorite, the Levee Singers just get better with age, and their popularity proves it. Headliners for years at the old Levee Club on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, these guys are always fresh and fun. Regulars today at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre in Dallas, they performed on famed television classics like The Jimmy Dean Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Danny Kaye Show and Hootenanny. They have also played at the Mapes Hotel in Reno and at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas with Joey Bishop. Performing several concerts with Henry Mancini, bandleader Ed Bernet recalls, “Imagine the excitement for me, as an ‘early 30s’ young man, having my entertainment group picked to be on all four of the most popular and well-known musical TV shows of that day.”

A former SMU gridiron star and later a Pittsburg Steeler, Ed headed the hugely popular Levee Dixieland Seven. For a number of years, the group played most nights to a packed house at the Levee, a club Ed built and owned. Today the band comprises Gavin Kelso on bass, Ralph Sanford on guitar, Craig Wensel at the piano and Ed Bernet on banjo. The Levee Singers released

several CDs, including The Best Thing, a collection of their most popular tunes, like “Bye Bye Love,” “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” The band’s CDs will be available at the concert. The Library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Call 214.509.4911 for more information. v Tom Keener is the cultural arts manager with the Allen Public Library.

Celebrate the Library’s 50th Birthday The Allen Public Library’s Golden Anniversary celebration will be 2 p.m. Saturday, October 14. It will include a documentary on the history of the library from its humble beginnings on Main Street to its current 54,000-square-foot building at 300 N. Allen Drive. Produced by the library’s Cultural Arts Office, over three dozen interviews of citizen volunteers, including members of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Theta chapter, (sorority that founded the library), current and former staff members and patrons were conducted. Learn more about how their team effort nurtured the creation of the awardwinning library that has had its programs featured in every major newspaper in the United States and has been mentioned in all major local television stations and a host of print and electronic media. A reception will follow. Call 214.509.4911 for information.


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by Deborah DOVE


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Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” If that is, in fact, the purpose of life, Justin Preston is killing it. A Renaissance man of the twenty-first century, his resume is a mélange of interesting and varied accomplishments—lead vocalist and keyboardist for a rock band, artist, teacher of the year, traveler and a self-described “creative builder.” His website, Barn Dance Design, showcases the varied scope of his work and provides a pictorial testament to his wide-ranging interests—from chicken coops with stained glass windows to structures made from reclaimed materials, and refurbished campers to custom lighting, hand-made furniture and retro painted signs. Seemingly diverse, there is a common theme inherent to each of his creations—all his work is tied together by a nod to the past, a DIY influence and reclaimed salvage design. Preston first discovered his interest in art in high school, and he credits his high school art teacher, Mrs. Simms, for inspiring him. In fact, she is the one who encouraged him to enter his art in a UIL contest that ultimately won him an art scholarship to Kilgore Junior College, and ultimately led him to become a teacher himself. But, before he got his teaching certification, he explored several passions that had always been an integral part of the fabric of his life. After a year of studio art at Kilgore, he transferred to the

University of Texas at Austin where he studied both art and film before embarking on a career as the singer and keyboardist for an indie rock band. Signed to a label on the strength of their live performances, his band’s debut album was released to critical acclaim, and the band toured the United States and the UK until Preston grew tired of the rock and roll lifestyle and decided to turn in his keyboard for a white board. His mother, Jenny Preston, a teacher herself who was also the superintendent of Allen ISD at the time, was the one who suggested he consider teaching. Remembering the impact his own art teacher had on him, Justin got his certification and began teaching art at Anderson Elementary, although to this day he still has a music studio in his backyard and occasionally writes music for films and commercials. However, his main focus became art—teaching it and making it. He returned to the studio, creating works of art that he showed in galleries around Texas. And, he fell in love with working with kids, finding it incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally. “I love imparting what I know to them, but I get way more out of it than they do,” Preston says. “They have

open minds and don’t analyze it too much or think they can’t do it. They’re so free, and they take risks. They inspire me quite a bit,” he admits. He obviously inspires his students too, as evidenced by the fact that he was named Anderson’s Teacher of the Year for the 2016/2017 school year. He is also the elementary art team leader for the district, organizing community events such as the annual student art show at Blue House Too in Watters Creek and the Empty Bowls Outreach program, where students make clay bowls and sell them to the public, with all proceeds going to Allen Community Outreach. During his summers off from teaching, Justin Preston started experimenting with assemblies—old barn doors attached to structures and mixed media assemblies. “I grew up in the country,” says Allen Image | October 2017


Preston, “so I’m just drawn to old towns, old barns and old buildings. I also like the idea of sustainability, of building new structures with a small ecological footprint with quality materials from the past.” His first project was a chicken coop that he built in his own backyard at his home in the historic area of downtown McKinney. “I’m a big junker—I love going to estate sales— and I had some stained glass that I thought would look cool. I built it with reclaimed barn wood and added a barn tin roof and a barn door.” The end result was a beautifully artistic, but functional, chicken coop that looked like it was built in the 1920s. “I like what I build to look cool,but be functional. A chicken coop that looks like art meets all my criteria,” he adds with a laugh. Preston posted a few pictures on social media, and it wasn’t long before the owner of Spoons Café wanted one, so he incorporated their unique taste with his design. More


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orders came in, and when downtown McKinney hosted its first annual “Tour de Coop”—a self-guided tour of chicken coops—Preston had quite a few coops featured on the tour. In addition to using stained glass windows in his coops, whenever possible he also uses salvaged lumber, antique windows and doors, vintage pulley systems to open hatches and any other unique fixtures he can find. Completely into the green lifestyle, he then built himself a garden with a greenhouse constructed with old barn windows and other reclaimed material. And again, his unique, old-world-style structures were soon in high demand. Before long, he’d been commissioned to build a variety of garden sheds, greenhouses and other outbuildings out of reclaimed wood, including the garden shed used in Patina Green’s kitchen garden on Virginia near downtown McKinney, and a miniature urban farm complete with raised beds, a chicken coop and a shed.

Other projects combining his unique marriage of functionality with salvaged material turned art have included unique cash register stand wraps—a funky, hippy-style one made to match the décor of the seventies style vibe of the Groovy Coop and one he created with old industrial muffin tins for the housewares store Etienne Market. He’s also created farm tables, custom lighting, and most recently, wood painted signs out of reclaimed lumber. He adds that living in North Texas is the perfect place to find inspiration and materials. You don’t have to drive far to discover old, abandoned downtowns and dilapidated barns. What unifies each of Justin Preston’s creations is its connection to the past. “It’s important to me that every piece is unique and nods to the past,” comments Preston. “There’s a quality, character and craftsmanship in the past that is missing today. People want it and it’s lacking. I consider antique structures a form of folk art that makes me feel connected to the land.” Justin adds that in today’s busy and mobile society, his pieces provide that link to the past— something solid and useful that connects people to their roots. Justin’s own roots are in the country in East Texas where he grew up, and he admits a part of him longs for a simpler time when people were self-sustaining and lived off the land, growing their own food and building what they needed in a minimum amount of space. That philosophy is partly what drew him to his next project—building a teardrop-style camper from scratch that was featured on the cover of Cool Tears and Tiny Campers magazine. “I like to get out of town to get authentic life experiences,” explains Preston. “Growing up, my family was outdoorsy and camped a lot. I had summers off, so I decided to build my own Comanche Cocoon.” It was perfect for a creative artist

like Justin who loves the mentality behind small space design and the inherent efficiency it requires. He found one to rebuild—outfitting it with a queen bed, Xbox, flat screen TV and a galley kitchen that opens from the rear hatch so you can cook from outside—and so far, he and his wife have taken it over ten thousand miles, from the Texas-Mexico border into Canada. When his son was born two years ago, he bought an airstream so the whole family could continue to travel during the summer, and rebuilt the interior with furniture, new paint, floors and lighting. “It’s that iconic American symbol,” he says with a smile, having just returned from two weeks in Colorado. In August, Justin Preston began the new school year with a new position—the art teacher at the newly opened Preston Elementary, which is named for his mom. He has big dreams and plans for his students that he looks forward to implementing, as well as for own unique brand of constructive art. “One day, I’d like to own a shop where I could sell whatever I felt like making,” says Preston, adding that the inventory would be ever-changing, evolving along with his inspiration and interests. “Some days you might come in and find farm tables, other days painted signs or lighting. Who knows?” v Deborah Dove is a freelance writer from Allen.

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Halloween Fun for Boys and Ghouls by Deborah DOVE Fright Fest at Six Flags over Texas 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington, 817.640.8900 or www.sixflags. com. Now through October 31 (visit website for weekend Fright Fest hours). Zombies and ghouls take over the park this Halloween, ready to “greet” you as you make your way through the park after dark. In addition to thrilling rides like Batman, Superman, the Evil Night SkyScreamer and the Toxic Shock Wave, there are plenty of special haunted attractions guaranteed to give you chills, including haunted houses, special scare zones and live shows.

Dark Hour 701 Taylor Drive (corner of Central and Plano Parkway), Plano, 469.298.0556 or www.darkhourhauntedhouse.com. Now through Halloween it is open Friday-Saturday 7 pm-midnight, SundayThursday 7-10 pm and Halloween night 7-11 pm. One of the premier haunted houses in the area, Dark Hour has sets worthy of a Broadway production, professional actors, inhouse designed special effects and state-of-the-art technology that adds up to one terrifying experience (the good kind). New shows are produced monthly that build on the existing Witch of Coven theme. There’s even live entertainment while you wait in line.

Preston Trail Farms (formerly the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm at a new location) 15102 TX-289, Gunter, 972.382.4995 or www.prestontrailfarms.com. Open Monday-Sunday 8 am-8 pm through November 22. There’s nothing scary about this pumpkin patch—just family fun and a “life on the farm” experience, from picking your own pumpkin straight from the field, hayrides, a petting zoo and a six-foot hay maze.

Goosebumps the Musical Phantom of the Auditorium Dallas Children’s Theater, 5938 Skillman, Dallas, 214.740.0051 or www.dct.org. Now through October 29. Based on the bestselling book series by R.L. Stine, this musical is perfect for the Halloween season. Scooby Doo-style detective work meets Glee-style repartee in this show intended for ages 7 and up. Wear your costume and bring the whole family to this silly and slightly spooky musical adventure.

Jellystone Park 2301 S. Burleson Road, Burleson, 817.426.5037 or www. northtexasjellystone.com. Open every weekend in October. October is perfect outdoor weather, and Jellystone Park—already known for family-friendly camping—combines the enjoyment of camping with Halloween fun. Every weekend in October, the campground hosts Halloween-themed activities, such as the “Magic Pumpkin Patch” where younger children can grow their own pumpkins. Guests of all ages can test their launching skills during the “hurl a


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pumpkin challenge.” There are also costume contests and campsite decorating contests each weekend, so don’t forget your costume and spookiest decorations. Add in the usual Jellystone family style fun—campfires, s’mores, hayrides, fishing, hiking, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, sleeping under the stars and visits from Yogi Bear, and you have an unforgettable family weekend full of memories.

Bach and Broomsticks Fall Festival Watters Creek, Allen or www.watterscreek.com/event. Saturday, October 21, noon-9 pm. Pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch to decorate, explore various musical instruments at the instrument petting zoo hosted by AISD orchestra and band and enjoy Halloween crafts, face painting and balloon art. There are free hayrides noon-4 pm (starting at the Village Green) and musical performances by children’s musical entertainer Joe McDermott of the Allen Philharmonic Winds, the Allen Community Jazz Band and Rockestra!, an instrumental symphonic rock orchestra.

Friscovania Toyota Stadium, 9200 World Cup Way, Frisco or www.visitfrisco. com/event/friscovania/1354/. October 21, 4-9 pm. Family fun awaits at the mayor’s designated safe trick-or-treat zone of Frisco. Activities include a kids haunted carnival, magic show, bounce houses, costume contest, food trucks, a virtual haunted hay maze, wicked runway show, photo ops, art alley, live music by the Mad Mexicans and a performance by Johnny Hayes from The Voice season 12. Tickets are $10 per person.

Halloween at the Heard 1 Nature Place, McKinney, 972.562.5566 or www.heardmusuem. org/halloween. October 21, 6-10 pm. Kids can safely trick-or-treat along the eerie Dinosaurs Alive! Live-Size Animatronic Dinosaur Trail (with candy stops at each of the ten animatronic dinosaurs), enjoy fun activities and games, explore the museum, visit the “ghost town” and “haunted forest” and watch a family-friendly movie on the Heard’s outdoor amphitheater stage. There will be a costume contest for kids 12 and under and photo ops with the T-Rex. Concessions are available for purchase. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 3-12. This event usually sells out, so purchase early!

Hall’s Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze 3420 Hall Johnson Road, Grapevine, 817.991.1052 or www. hallspumpkinfarm.net. Can you find your way out of this tall, two-acre corn maze filled with twists, turns and dead-ends? For a bigger (scarier!) challenge, bring a flashlight and try it after dark. There are also hayrides (with a stop to feed the cows and donkeys), pumpkin picking, photo ops and concessions. Admission is $5 per person, cash only. Hayrides are an additional $3-$5. v


Professors Bring Real-World Experience Into Classrooms by Kirk DICKEY

Kimberly O’Neil

Kimberly O’Neil is a self-described “government junky.” From serving as a compliance officer in her hometown of New York City to being a city manager in Maryland to working in Fort Worth’s court system, O’Neil spent almost 20 years in municipal government. Her parents got her


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involved in political campaigns and community organizing as a teenager and she has not been able to shake the habit of public service. For the past three years, O’Neil has done her best to share that most beneficial of addictions—one that helps

people understand the world around them and take part in making their communities better—as an associate professor for Collin College. Friends and family told her she was crazy to step away from a career in government, but O’Neil now calls teaching the second half of her life. “When I decided to transition from working for government, I knew I still wanted to be involved in some way other than as an employee,” O’Neil said. “I still believe in what our governments stand for but knew I would, and could, be more influential and effective working on the outside. Teaching for Collin College allows me to share my knowledge. I am able to influence students to become more aware of opportunities to get involved in government, whether that’s as an employee, an engaged citizen or a politician.” O’Neil, who was awarded Collin College’s Associate Professor of the Year in August, is just one example of the many professionals from other fields who have decided to share their real-world experience with students at the college. Collin College counts active-duty police and firefighters among its public safety academy instructors, and all its art instructors are active artists. Less well-known outside of the college is the number of professors who bring extensive experience in government or corporate environments to the classroom. Steve Saunders, an associate professor of nutrition at the college, brings both. Saunders graduated with a PhD in pharmacology and an area of expertise in toxicology, then worked for four years at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before moving to the private sector, where he rose through the ranks to become vice president of food safety and nutrition at Frito-Lay. Saunders spent 16 years with the multinational company, overseeing food safety at about 40 plants, traveling the world much of that time.

Saunders worked to ensure the company’s products were safe for the consumer, for the environment and for workers in the plants, remarking that, “There is no successful business plan that involves making your consumers sick.” Throughout his career, Saunders took as many opportunities as possible to contribute to the biochemistry and corporate knowledge base. He wrote textbook chapters and gave guest lectures, as

well as serving on a Collin College biotechnology advisory board. “As my career moved on, I was accumulating this knowledge and experience,” Saunders said. “The books say one thing, but the world can really work in a different way. “I thought ‘Gee, I would really love to find a way to share this knowledge that I am building up.’” So, when he retired from FritoLay, Saunders decided to share his experience directly. He spent a few

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years teaching at Lees-McRae College in his home state of North Carolina, then moved back to Texas to be closer to his daughter and grandchild. He began teaching nutrition at Collin College in the spring of last year. The move from the corporate world to academia has been a good one for him and for his students. Saunders said he enjoys getting back to the basics of biochemistry, interacting with students who are in the early stages of their educations and who make him think about the “first principles” of the science. He can also share his first-hand experience with the students, making good on his desire to share the things he has learned over the years. “That is where all that experience over the years comes in handy and makes the classes a little more interesting,” he said. “When you bring some real-world perspectives to the lectures—this is how something works, this is how what you are learning gets applied—you start to see some lightbulbs going off.” Seeing a student have a “lightbulb moment” is part of what drives associate math professor Anthony Peterson as well. Peterson called seeing students come to a moment of understanding “really, really gratifying.” Peterson felt the pull of teaching early in his education, working as a teaching assistant at the University of North Texas. Alas, engineering paid significantly better than teaching, so that is where he chose to make his mark. A Raytheon engineer for 33 years, much of his work was of a classified nature (he jokes that “half of it I can’t tell you because then I would have to shoot you”). He notes working as the ground station software architect for IKONOS, the first commercial earth observation satellite launched by a United States company, as a public career highlight. As a math professor, Peterson said he tries to teach students to work


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Steve Saunders through problems logically, a skill that can be applied throughout their lives. That logical process is something he learned in college and used throughout his career. “(Trigonometry) isn’t just following a formula,” he said. “It isn’t turning a crank to get an answer. You have to have those ‘aha’ moments.” Whatever you call them, Peterson had an “aha” moment of his own after his retirement, when he decided he wanted to give back through teaching. “This has been a rewarding change from engineering,” he said. “I

can do something that I enjoy and also give back to the community.” In fact, that seems to have been a calculation made by all the professors mentioned in this story and the dozens of others who have brought their real-world work experience back to academia. After benefiting from their own educations, they are now helping others find their future. v Kirk Dickey is a public relations writer at Collin College. Photos by Nick Young, Collin College photographer


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‘Til Debt Do Us Part by Steven J. DAWSON


Most of us have had to deal with debt at some point in our lives, yet it still seems to be one of those taboo subjects no one wants to talk about— whether with friends, family or significant other. All the while, it may be more common for couples today to enter into relationships with debt from student loans, credit cards or loans for large purchases like cars or homes. Whatever each party’s situation may be, being up front early on can help you avoid unnecessary financial and personal conflict down the road. There are many cases when working with clients during financial planning meetings that advisors find that they don’t share information on certain financial matters for various reasons.

transactions from each other. One in five Americans in a relationship say they have spent $500 or more and not told their partner, and six percent maintain secret accounts or credit cards, according to a poll conducted for CreditCards.com. This is why financial stress is one of the leading causes of divorce in this country. Wealth is a highly personal matter, touching all facets of our lives, so it’s not hard to understand why differences could hurt a relationship. Establishing an open line of communication when it comes to managing wealth is important, not only for your financial well-being, but for your relationship, too.

Debt Is a Four-Letter Word

Being open about your financial histories and debt, especially with a spouse or significant other—including past mistakes—is crucial to your combined, long-term success and a comfortable retirement. Not doing so

Financial stress and disagreements have long been cited as leading causes of tension in relationships. Couples don’t just argue about money, they hide

The Airing of (Financial) Grievances

could lead to a variety of complications down the road, including bad credit, trouble getting a loan or a less-than-ideal retirement. Beyond being forthcoming about your financial standing, it’s also worth noting that most of us have different ideas of what is normal or acceptable in terms of how we manage our finances and debt. Or, we have different outlooks on what the future should hold. For example, while one partner may be comfortable renting an apartment for several years, another may be eager to become a homeowner. If one of you is carrying a lot of credit card or other debt, it could be more difficult to get a loan for such a purchase.

Better Together The good thing about having a partner who is on the same page financially is that you benefit from a support system and accountability partner. Just as many people have a gym buddy to help encourage them to stick with an exercise regimen, having someone who understands your financial goals—and weaknesses—can help you stay on your path toward a bright financial future. Remember to make time to have those difficult financial conversations. In doing so, you and your spouse or significant other are better off. v Steven Dawson is an Allen resident, a CFP™, educator, national speaker and president of Dawson Private Wealth.


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Happy Birthday!

Allen Public Library by Peggy Helmick-RICHARDSON

L to R: Mayor Gentry Jones, Ruth Pringle, Terry Berndt and Barbara Shelgren.

In the 1960s, Allen’s population almost tripled, from 659 to 1,940. Despite the town’s small size, some residents had big dreams. Moving here from Iowa with her family in 1961, Ruth Pringle designed several local homes, substitute taught and served for 10 years as Allen’s Right to Read literacy program director. But, one of Ruth’s most lasting legacies is initiating the effort to establish the library. Both a president of her local chapter and a state officer

With a welldeserved reputation for innovation, education and entertainment, the Allen Public Library owes its humble beginnings fifty years ago to a group of indomitable women.

for Epsilon Sigma Alpha in Iowa, Ruth helped establish Allen’s Theta chapter of this professional women’s service sorority. She then served as the Allen group’s first president. In 1967, she heard a radio report on a small community library receiving donated books for a summer reading program. She decided that establishing a library in Allen would be a worthy Theta project, so she proposed it at the next meeting. Allen Image | October 2017


FEATURE Ruth recalls, “All of a sudden I hear this little voice in the corner—‘Let’s start a library!’ That was Bonnie Speight.” A library committee was formed, and after deciding a municipal-owned library would be best, they requested a meeting with a Texas State Library Commission representative. Since no one was available for several months, the women pushed ahead. The local chapter of the fraternal organization Woodmen of the World (WOW) donated space for the library on the first floor of their meeting hall on the south side of Main Street. These men put down new flooring and wall panels and Henry Cundiff built stacks for the books. Then, came what could have easily been a devastating blow to Allen’s library efforts. The Texas Library Commission agent arrived at the stifling, un-air conditioned library space that summer and declared the city was far too small to financially support it. But, the Theta members were determined to see their project succeed. Born and raised in Prosper, Barbara Shelgren and her husband moved to Allen in 1945. Over the years, she commuted first to Dallas and then Plano, working in accounting positions for oil companies, movie distribution centers and privately owned legal and accounting firms. Treasurer for the Theta group as well as later for the new library, Barbara’s other responsibility was to regularly pick up donated books from area libraries being collected at the Plano library. “I never wanted to be a librarian, I just wanted to read,” she laughs. Collin County native and long-time Allen elementary teacher Marion Spurgin moved to her parent’s McKinney home with her 3-month-old son in 1964 after the death of her husband. Despite her limited time, Marion was active with the Theta chapter and helped with new library over her summer break. “I refinished chairs and tables for the library. That was all we had to go in that room!” she recalls. Allen elementary school teacher Terry Berndt moved to Allen in 1964. With volunteer opportunities limited because she was expecting her first child, Terry still wanted to do her part. “So I was in the background. I would get the books together in different stacks and get them cataloged as to where they would go,” she reminisces. The Thetas also hosted fundraisers, including a fashion show with members modeling the latest styles and a book and money tea. Raised on a northwestern Collin County farm, Wilma Smith and her husband moved to Allen in 1963. Employed with Texas Instruments, she eventually moved up to the executive office as assistant to the treasurer. After retiring from TI in 1991, Wilma worked for Eugene and Margaret McDermott’s foundation until 2013. Assisting with the book and money tea, Wilma recalls that it introduced the concept of a city library to the




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L to R: Barbara Buehler, Barbara Shelgren and Ella Jo Adams

citizens of Allen. “We put an ad in the paper inviting the town. We had refreshments and asked people to clean out their shelves and attics, so we had a real assortment of books.” Although her career and family offered little time to volunteer for the library during those early years, Wilma later became active with the Friends of the Library. Over the years she served as vicepresident, secretary and treasurer. When the current Allen High School was being built, a proposal to make the Allen Public Library a part of the new school was raised. “[The Friends of the Library] fought against that because we wanted it to stay a stand-alone library,” she declares. “We worked hard to build the library and make it a focal point of the city!” The Allen High School home

economics teacher from 1961 until her retirement in 1990, Ella Jo Adams couldn’t work with the books because of a mold allergy. So, she applied her talents to the fundraising fashion show hosted at the old high school gymnasium in downtown Allen. When the new library was dedicated that October, Ella Jo‘s Future Homemakers of America group

provided refreshments and acted as hostesses. “This was the boonies back then and there was no place to go to buy already made products to serve or caterers to hire. That was quite a privilege and we really enjoyed putting it on,” she recalls. Recipes were tested and selected, linens ironed, and cookies and punch prepared when Ella Jo was called out of town for a family funeral. “I knew my students could pull this off without me,” she boasts. “The girls were so proud and I received so many compliments about them!” Describing the opening day as “hot and miserable,” Ruth emphasizes, “But the whole town came out!“ And many who came, returned later with boxes of books from their own shelves. To keep up with donations and the growing demand to check out books, Theta volunteers spent

L to R: Ruth Pringle and Wilma Smith

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evenings typing and gluing. When the library doors were open, Ocie Angel and Ruth’s mother-in-law, Mildred Pringle, were there to greet patrons. Both the Allen City Council and Collin County Commissioners pledged $250 each to the library, the latter with the help of commissioner Carl Marion, also from Allen. Still volunteer run, on December 7, 1967, the Allen City Council formally approved the Allen Public Library as a municipal facility. The first city library board comprised Chair Ruth Pringle, Vice-chair David Worden, Secretary Evangeline Vita, Treasurer Barbara Shelgren and Elizabeth Mosely. The Allen Public Library proved so successful that it soon outgrew its space. At that time, Eugene and Margaret McDermott had purchased the old Methodist Church on the corner of Allen and McDermott Streets and were having a city hall and fire station built there as a gift to the city. Mary Ruth Jones, wife of the


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then mayor Gentry Jones, mentioned to Mrs. McDermott how the library needed more space. “We got a beautiful red, white and blue library in part of that building,” Ruth grins. “It was maybe five to six times the size.” She adds that Mrs. McDermott also had additional shelves put in when she learned the original estimates were not enough. With a larger facility, the library board recommended the city bring on a part-time professional librarian. Bob Lanier was hired in 1971 and left 12 months later to become the library director in Graham, Texas. Mary Tod Suhm was Allen’s next librarian. She and her husband had moved first to Fairview and then Allen, and she taught at Allen High School for one year prior to having her first child. Earning her master’s degree in library information science while on hiatus, she worked part-time for the Allen Public Library from 1972 to 1978. Mary left for a full-time position with the City of Dallas Public

Library System, eventually moving on to serve as Dallas’ city manager from 2005 to 2013. Seeing her primary responsibility as “providing a good beginning for library services for such a small community,” Mary recognized that Allen had little spare money so “offering as much service as I possibly could with the resources available” proved a top priority. Soon the library again outgrew its space and moved to the Blue House on Allen Drive, now the Allen Arts Alliance office. Mary laughs about converting an older home to a library. “We pulled out walls that weren’t load- bearing and put in shelves, but it was too expensive to take the bathtub out so we filled it with asparagus ferns.” The next part-time librarian was Roland Commons. In 1981 he moved on to the Howe Community Library and later the Grayson College Library. Barbara Buehler was hired in 1982 as Allen’s first full-time library director. She had the distinction of

starting the Friends of the Library in 1983 and launching two new libraries for the city. In 1990, the 30,000-squarefoot facility on Century Parkway opened its doors to the public. In 2007, the current Allen Public Library was completed, with 54,000 square feet designed to meet the needs of a growing city. “When I came on the scene at Allen Public Library in 1982, I was an eager new professional ready to try my wings and Allen was a sleepy little town ready to grow and develop. So, we grew together,” Barbara reminisces. “Starting the Friends of the Library, initiating a popular program of children’s services, transitioning the library’s systems from manual to automated, building and occupying two new buildings, raising funds for books and other materials, and offering new and expanded services made the next 25 years fly by.” “Besides raising three fine young men, the most significant accomplishment of my life has been the contribution made toward the growth and development of the public library in Allen and the many wonderful friends made there,” she continues. “I salute those dedicated and visionary ladies who started the journey back in 1967.” When Barbara retired in 2008, Jeff Timbs came on board. Previously serving as library director for the City of Rowlett, today Jeff manages a busy staff of 55 and a still growing facility with new expansions on the horizon. The McDermott Foundation continues to support the Allen Public Library. In 2013, the McDermotts provided $50,000 for the library’s state-of-the-art check-out system. “I have seen the Allen library grow from a just few books to a wonderful civic asset,” Margaret McDermott enthuses. “I am so proud of its history and the people who helped make it.” v Peggy Helmick-Richardson is a freelance writer. Allen Image | October 2017



by Deborah DOVE


airview resident Dawn Brucher may have missed her calling in life. The woman with a degree in business who works part time for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Collin County (CASA) definitely has an eye for decorating and a flair for interior design.


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After hiring an interior designer to help her update her formal living area before an anniversary party for her parents, Dawn decided to tackle the rest of the house herself. The result is a refreshing mix of light, airy neutrals and clean lines with a touch of vintage charm.

I knew I wanted clean and fresh, but with some warmth and hominess.

The Brucher family—which includes Dawn, her husband, Greg, and children Sarah, Katie and Tyler—moved from Phoenix to Fairview eleven years ago. They immediately fell in love with the beautiful two-story brick home on a two-and-a-half-acre wooded lot on a cul-de-sac in Oakwood Estates. Shortly after moving in, they replaced the existing green countertops and ugly tile in the kitchen with quartz countertops and travertine tile, but the house remained predominantly untouched until a few years ago, when Dawn hired a professional designer to update the entry, dining room and formal living area. “I knew I wanted clean and fresh, but with some warmth and hominess,” says Dawn. To her, a home needs a little wood and warmth to ground it. Dawn has always loved the look of old reclaimed wood, so she asked the designer to replace their standard fireplace mantle with an old reclaimed wood beam found at an architectural salvage yard near downtown Dallas. “It really set the tone for the whole house,” says Brucher of the beautiful old wood mantle. They put in white tile around the fireplace and up a portion of the wall—creating a modern-meets-vintage focal point—then replaced all of the furniture, art, drapes and accessories. The Brucher’s new color scheme focused on silver, blues and grays interjected with pops of color, which brightened the twostory-high space. The floor-to-ceiling windows were encased and left bare of curtains or window treatments, giving an unobstructed view of the pool and heavily treed back yard and letting in plenty of light. Accents of blue in the form of a pair of blue painted tables and two blue upholstered armchairs keep the room from becoming too austere. Part of the initial redecorating also included the soaring two-story entryway, and the designer added interest by stacking three identical and uniquely framed mirrors one on top of the other over a distressed, bluepainted wood table made to look old. The dining room also got new life with encased windows and white paneling on the bottom half of the walls to add dimension. A unique and unconventional fringed square light fixture over the traditional dining room and upholstered dining chairs add an unexpected modern touch to the otherwise Allen Image | October 2017


traditional room. Next on the list was updating the home with new floors, bathrooms and a kitchen remodel, but Dawn quickly realized she couldn’t stop there. “Everything else (decoration wise) was Old World, and our new rooms were clean and fresh. They needed to match.” A devoted fan of HGTV, especially shows like Good


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Bones that focus on clean lines and modern materials with a vintage side, Dawn decided to tackle the second part of the remodel herself. “When I see someone do something, I can usually pick it up, and I’d seen how it (the living room) came together.” She began perusing magazine and scouring stores in McKinney and, surprisingly, Home Goods—her secret go-to store—looking for the just-right accent pieces. Dawn admits that she went to Home Goods daily, sometimes even twice a day, in her quest for accessories (the store gets new shipments daily). Beginning with the more casual living room where the family congregates, Dawn copied the style of the smaller living room, again balancing reclaimed wood with modern metal and neutral fabrics. “I’m obsessed with old things,” says Dawn. “If I can bring it into a room, I do.” In fact, every room in the house—although completely fresh, modern and updated—

has some heirloom from the past incorporated into it. In the family room, she used old barn wood in the ceiling, on the wall behind a redesigned former built-in entertainment nook and on the fireplace mantle. Accents of metal were added in the details—lamps, a side table and a spherical light fixture. Gray drapes, geometric gray upholstered armchairs and a light-colored area rug and sofas create the perfect backdrop for bursts of color provided by cheerful printed throw pillows and a brilliant blue painting on the wall. An antique table from Greg’s family in the corner adds another nod to the past. The family room opens up to the kitchen, which got a major facelift with white-painted cabinets and new silver metal hardware. The Bruchers also converted their electric cooktop to a new extra-large Thermador gas range, which had always been on Dawn’s wish list. The large center island provides extra work space, a bar with seating and a

beautiful new apron front kitchen sink. To add a touch of color to the predominantly white kitchen, Dawn picked out a shade of blue in the framed tile mosaic over the stove and painted the kitchen island the same color. New wood floors throughout the downstairs extend through the kitchen, giving the entire space a cohesive flow, and modern-looking silver pendant lights and silver bar stools with clear seats keep the kitchen looking airy as

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story,” she says. “I don’t know what it is, but it has one.” However, it’s the kitchen table in the breakfast area that ties the kitchen and the family room together that has pride of place and is Dawn’s favorite piece of furniture in the house. “I love the look of reclaimed wood and the mix of old and new,” she reiterates. The table—which is made out of wood from an old railroad boxcar and topped with glass— perfectly exemplifies that. You can even see the original markings— possibly a trademark sign from the manufacturer—carved into the wood. Noting the spacious, white, well as fresh and trendy. It wouldn’t be Dawn’s house without touches of the past, so it’s not surprising that the kitchen has several meaningful ones. A wood shelf with hooks visible from the kitchen displays an old wood sign that says, “It is well with my soul,” and Dawn points out a chunky wood wine rack attached to a wall in the kitchen. “I love that it has a


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airy kitchen, Dawn says, “This could get sterile, but the wood warms it up and draws the eye to the table.” Upstairs, the four bedrooms and three baths showcase more of Dawn’s vintage finds, along with luxurious new additions, such as a two-sided fireplace between the master bedroom and master bath. The fireplace is completely tiled

on either side with white marble tile flecked with gray all the way to the ceiling. On the other side of the fireplace is the couple’s bathroom, which they completely gutted to make way for a luxurious new bath area. A soaker tub replaced the old whirlpool garden tub. They completely redid the shower, taking out a triangular seat to make more room, and tearing out the old frosted glass and replacing it with clear. Marble flooring and glass tile on the walls completed the new shower. They elected to keep the original wood cabinets for warmth. “Wood is hard to bring into a bathroom,” Dawn observes. On the wall across from the sink, Dawn hung twin old glass windows, complete with rope pulls and the original hardware. “I love that it’s a piece of someone’s house,” she says. Now that Dawn has tapped into her decorating mojo, she’s looking forward to redoing a home in historic McKinney in a few years when the couple’s kids are grown.

There’s just one thing she’d do different. “I don’t want to live in the middle of it again!” Dawn says emphatically. “The worst was the cabinets. They sanded for weeks! Next time, we’ll do the work before we move it.” v Deborah Dove is a freelance writer from Allen. Photos: John Nervig Photography.

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“Mickey Mouse”

Mickey Mouse is a two-year old Staffordshire/ bull terrier mix that weighs about 50 pounds. This happy, sweet, fun-loving boy is very affectionate and likes to give kisses. He wants to be a lap dog. He walks beautifully on a loose leash and likes playing fetch. He’s a quiet, calm boy who sits for his treats. He is full of personality. Mickey Mouse is crate-trained and housebroken. He is dog-friendly (big and small, male and female) and kid-friendly (loves them!) Mickey will be a wonderful companion for a lucky person or family. He is neutered, micro-chipped, heartworm negative and up to date on all vaccinations. If you’d like to meet this handsome guy, please submit an online application: http:// legacyhumanesociety.org/adoptfoster/ adoption-application/. v


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