December 2021 ALT Magazine

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ALT magazine

covering the ark-la-tex DECEMBER 2021 ALT-MAG.COM

It's a Family


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From the Publisher

It’s Christmas time! I must say I actually have a better attitude this year than I did last year. I am so excited! All of my kids and grandkids are going to be with me for a family gathering this year. That is almost impossible to pull off now, with everyone going in different directions and living far away, but I think it might actually happen.

Christmas traditions are something that have been important to our family for years. From snacking and opening presents on Christmas Eve to steaks on Christmas Day, we have always had a lot of fun and fellowship. Over the last few years, those traditions have changed. But no matter how far away everyone is, we always connect and try to get together at some point. This year is no different. One of the best parts of this season is how it encourages us to look at others, help those less fortunate, and make someone else’s season a little brighter. Think of establishing a tradition of giving. There are so many wonderful charitable organizations in our area that could use a little help – especially after the struggles of the past couple of years. Think about giving your children or grandchildren a set amount of money and asking them what charity they would like to donate to. Not only will it teach them an important lesson about giving, but it will help someone as well. One of our other favorite things to do is have a marathon of Christmas movies. What are your favorites to sit with family and watch? Here are a few of ours – Holiday Inn (I mean, who doesn’t like Marjorie Reynolds, Bing Crosby, and Fred Astaire), Die Hard (all of them), Christmas Vacation, Jingle All The Way, The Santa Clause – you get the idea! We love Christmas movies and watch them all month long, but especially the few days surrounding Christmas. Time to start your tradition of movies! Mike and I are starting a new tradition this year. We decided to forego gifts to travel. As many of you know, we love to go on trips together. This year we plan on going to Las Vegas, somewhere we haven’t been in years! We are excited! I can’t wait to see all the Christmas decorations throughout the city, go to shows, and EAT! Whatever your traditions are, I hope you have a very merry Christmas! Remember the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus is what Christmas is all about! God bless you and yours,

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It's a Family

TRADITION By: Anne Granado

Holiday traditions are a unique and special part of each family’s story. Like a fingerprint, no two families celebrate exactly the same way. Instead, traditions are built from the memories we experienced in our youth, the tastes that we associate with the holidays, and the new things we’ve tried along the way. Scott and Linda Neathery are no exception. Their annual holiday celebrations are built from a combination of their separate pasts and their shared present. However, Scott’s position as the pastor at First Baptist Church of Wake Village also influences the Neathery family. Their traditions intermingle with the responsibilities of the pastorate as they seek to provide a Christmas for their children and grandchildren that is both centered in family and grounded in Christ. Scott and Linda met while in college at a basketball game. They have been married 41 years, and they have three children: Madysen, 28; Megan, 35; and Michael, 39. Megan is married to Brandon, and they have two children, Kason and Averi. Michael is married to Amy. Every holiday tradition involves the family spending quality time together. A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1

Growing up, Scott’s parents were divorced, so he spent the holidays traveling around to various gatherings. In contrast, Christmas for Linda was all about the family gathered at home. “Christmas was so fun for me growing up. I had a brother and sister, and we loved the holidays,” Linda says. “Many times on Christmas Eve, my mom’s parents or my dad’s mother would spend the night just to be with us on that morning, even though we all lived in the same town. I remember that I was 16-years-old before my dad was able to be at home all day on Christmas without having to go to work at some point, so that made the fact that Scott was able to be with our kids all day very special in my heart.” Though Linda grew up around her whole family, her kids never lived in the same town as their grandparents. “I think there was a ‘specialness’ for us during the holidays because while a lot of families were all together with aunts and uncles and cousins and other relatives, it was just us five on the actual holiday,” Linda says. “One of my most favorite traditions with Scott and the kids was getting the kids in their pj’s, loading up in the car, and then riding around looking at all 013

the Christmas lights and decorations in the neighborhoods.” Another tradition that Scott and Linda started together was decorating the Christmas tree with the children and now the grandchildren on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Over the years, Scott has purchased over 75 different Hallmark ornaments. “They are just neat, especially for kids. Some of them are battery-powered, have music, or light up,” Scott says. “Our daughter-in-law, Amy, can decorate gorgeous Christmas trees. Her work could be displayed in Better Homes and Gardens. Our tree is not on her level, but we love that it is a kid-oriented tree, and it’s fun for us all to get together and decorate.” Scott and Linda also established an annual tradition with their children of reading the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve or Christmas 014

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morning. However, now, Brandon and Megan read their story with their own children, and the whole family hears the Christmas message at the Christmas Eve service at their church. The Christmas Eve service is an important part of their traditions as a family, and Scott has helped to start that service at the churches where he has pastored.

don’t object to change. We do different things all the time, and it just works.” Scott and Linda do recognize that the pastorate has influenced their traditions as a family. “No matter what day of the week Christmas falls on, I’ve just always known I’ve got to be available,” Scott says. “For example, in Paragould, a lady died on Christmas Day, and I had to go to their house and minister to that family. Also, if Christmas Day is on a Saturday and we spend a packed day with family, we still need to get up the next day to serve the congregation at the Christmas services at church.”

Keeping the true meaning of Christmas and the story of Christ at the heart of their celebrations is very important to Scott and Linda. Scott grew up in church, and he first felt called into the ministry in eighth grade when his church had a special weekend emphasis called “Lay Renewal Weekend.” In the summer of 1979, Scott started In the Baptist churches where Scott served, he his first ministry position at his home church, noticed that they did not have a Christmas Eve and then, he served at a church in Longview, service. “We decided to start a God-centered Texas, while finishing up at East Texas Baptist experience for families on Christmas Eve, and College. Next, he accepted a job as the youth we’ve been doing that for over 30 years as a minister at First Baptist Church of Wake Village family in each church. So much of our traditions in 1982. Then, in 1987, Scott took a job at as a family is built around that service,” Scott Calvary Baptist Church in Hope, Arkansas. He says. “At First Baptist Church of Wake Village, was there for fourteen years. After that, Scott our service starts at 5 p.m., and anyone and served at First Baptist Church in Paragould, Arkansas, for EGE N DA Y five years. However, in 2006, when First Baptist Church of INDOOR SHOOTING RANGE Wake Village called Scott about VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS ON ALL OUR CLASSES! WWW.LEGENDARYSHOOTINGSPORTS.COM returning as the lead pastor, the family returned to the town that they had always considered home. “The thing I love about First Baptist Church of Wake Village is that it’s a great blend of people. We have white and blue-collar people, senior adults, young adults, and lots of young families. It’s also a DON’T PAY MORE THAN YOU HAVE TO! church that doesn’t have a lot of COME BY OR CALL US BEFORE YOU BUY! problems. I mean, every church REASONABLE PRICES! has little problems, but we’ve DON’T HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR SHOOTING SKILLS OR DON’T been blessed that we haven’t KNOW HOW TO HANDLE A FIREARM? had to face some of the issues CALL US TO SIGN UP FOR A BASIC PISTOL PRIVATE LESSON that other community churches have faced,” Scott says. “Our 101 SLATON DRIVE, NASH, TX congregation is flexible; they 903.336.6139



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"So much of the world they are living in today would want them to focus on the commercial aspect. I love being with them and doing the fun things during the season, but I never want to let those activities and things be more important in their hearts than our Savior’s birth.” everyone are invited to attend. The service lasts about 40 minutes, and we always take communion. We also make it family-oriented. Last year, Megan stepped in for the children’s minister who got sick. She came up and read a Christmas story to the children in the congregation.” After the Christmas Eve service, the whole Neathery family goes to Scott and Linda’s house for chicken and dumplings. No one really knows how that meal started as a tradition; though, Linda suspects it was because it was easy to cook ahead of time and keep warm on the stove while they attended the service. She has shared her recipe with us in this article. Scott also enjoys drinking non-alcoholic eggnog on Christmas Eve. “Growing up, my mother would fill a punch bowl with eggnog, vanilla ice cream, and nutmeg. Now I just drink it from the carton. I love the stuff,” Scott says. “Only my son will drink it and sometimes my son-in-law. The last several years, a family in my church has brought me eggnog from Braums. It’s usually at my front door after our church service.”

good way, when the kids are married.” On Christmas morning, Scott and Linda gather in their pj’s with Megan, Brandon, Kason, Averi, and Madysen to open presents. “Though we are opening gifts, we try to emphasize to both our kids and grandchildren that the greatest gift we can ever receive is the salvation that comes through Christ,” Linda says. “When we give gifts, we need to keep that in mind.”

After dinner, the whole family snacks on Christmas treats like chocolate-dipped peanut butter Ritz crackers, sausage balls, chocolate peanut clusters, and peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey kisses. Some of these recipes are included in the article as well. Then, Scott and Linda open presents with Michael and Amy so they can go to her family’s Christmas the next day. “I think just being able to be with one another is especially important now that the kids are grown,” Linda says. “Sometimes it is hard to coordinate schedules, but it’s different, in a 016

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Like many families, Scott and Linda went through a time when we wanted to perhaps do away with gifts altogether. Scott felt like the focus on holidays was more on the gifts and less on the true meaning of Christmas. “When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the fulfillment of the promise God made to us back in Genesis, Chapter 3,” Scott says. “Then, all the way through the old testament, every story is foreshadowing the promise of Jesus being born to Mary. I went through a phase when I thought we ought to stop allowing the commercialization of Christmas in both our homes and church. But, we do try to prioritize giving back to the community at the church continually. Just this morning, Linda has been at the church packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse.” After presents, the family gets dressed for the noon meal, which may be Italian, Mexican, or steak. Linda says they want anything but turkey and dressing again! After lunch, the family travels to Marshall, where Linda grew up, and they celebrate with her mother and her nieces, then head back home. Linda’s mother will be 99-years-old on January 1, 2022, and she still lives at home. “It’s just so special to still celebrate with my mom during the holidays, especially at her age. None of us know when our time is coming, and each year we have her, it’s just special,” Linda says. Then, after a full day, the family travels back to Texarkana. “One year, I got pulled over on Christmas Day going back through Linden. The officer asked where we had been. I told him we had been to ‘Nanny’s for Christmas,’ and he laughed, told me to slow down, and sent me on my way,” Scott says. “I was thankful; it’s just a full day. That’s the only negative part of it. This year, with Christmas on Saturday, we will worship at the Christmas Eve Service on Friday, celebrate Christmas on Saturday with family, and then worship and serve on Sunday.”

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Though the holiday can be busy with church services and the responsibilities of Scott as a pastor, the family wouldn’t have it any other way because they really want the focus to be on the birth of Christ. “We do not want to allow the world to dictate what the season is about,” Linda says. “Now that we have grandchildren, making sure that they understand what Christmas is truly about is so very important. So much of the world they are living in today would want them to focus on the commercial aspect. I love being with them and doing the fun things during the season, but I never want to let those activities and things be more important in their hearts than our Savior’s birth.”


INGREDIENTS • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted • 2 cups powdered sugar • 1 stick softened butter • 2 large eggs • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 6 large ripe bananas, sliced • 16 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained • 16 oz. container Cool Whip topping • 1 cup chopped pecans • Hershey’s chocolate syrup • 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries drained, rinsed and patted dry INSTRUCTIONS • Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. • Press into 9x13” pan. • Combine powdered sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla and mix with mixer for 12 minutes. • Pour over graham cracker crust. • Place the bananas over this (6 bananas make about 2 layers of bananas), and then the drained crushed pineapple over the bananas. • Spread Cool Whip topping over the fruit. • Sprinkle with pecans and drizzle with chocolate syrup. • Rinse, drain and pat dry the cherries. (The cherries must be dry or they will leak into the whipped topping.) • Place maraschino cherries on top. • Refrigerate a few hours before serving.



INGREDIENTS • 12 ounces Nestle Toll House semisweet OR milk-chocolate chocolate chips • 2 cups salted dry roasted peanuts INSTRUCTIONS • Line 2 large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. • Place chocolate chips in large microwaveable bowl and microwave on high in 20-second intervals, stirring after each time, until thoroughly melted. • Allow the chocolate to cool slightly. • Stir the roasted peanuts into the melted chocolate and mix until fully coated. • Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined baking sheet. • Let cool 45 minutes to an hour, or refrigerate until set. • Place clusters in an airtight container and refrigerate.


INGREDIENTS • Three 32 oz. cartons of chicken broth • Five cans refrigerated biscuits • Five cooked and shredded chicken breasts • Salt and pepper to taste • Two cups flour INSTRUCTIONS • Cook chicken breasts until tender and then shred. • Heat chicken broth in pot on medium-high heat and cook until gently boiling. • Dredge biscuits in flour and then tear biscuits into small pieces and place in chicken broth mixture. Stir well. • Pepper and salt to taste. • Add shredded chicken and simmer over low heat, stirring often. • Simmer for 30 minutes or until biscuits are done.


CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER RITZ CRACKERS INGREDIENTS • 48 Ritz Crackers • 1 cup creamy peanut butter • 1 package almond bark INSTRUCTIONS • Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Place 24 crackers on the paper. Top each cracker with peanut butter and top with a second cracker. • Place the almond bark in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well. Microwave bark in 15 second increments, taking it out and stirring each time until melted thoroughly. • Dip each cookie into the melted almond bark, using two forks to drain the excess chocolate off the cookies. Place the coated cookies back onto the lined baking sheet. • Place the chocolate coated cookies in the refrigerator until set. Place the chilled cookies in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1

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Domestic Violence Prevention : James Roberts by anne granado

The Domestic Violence Prevention (DVP) program in Texarkana was started in the late 1970s out of the home of Gayle Martin. Gayle saw a need in the Texarkana community to help those going through hard times with their spouse or significant other. “Instead of just hoping there was something she could do, she took it upon herself to do something. From that time, the agency has continued to grow,” Domestic Violence Prevention Texarkana Director of Operations James Roberts says. “There have been hard times and good times, but in the last several years, we have seen this agency bloom into what it is today. The agency went from working out of Gayle’s house in the early days to having multiple offices, a revamped safe house, mental health center, and serving ten counties in Texas and Arkansas. We are currently covering around 7,700 square miles and a population in the 300,000 range.” James has been employed with DVP for seven years. The first two years he spent working with agency volunteers, interns, and public information. For the last five years, he has served as the Director of Operations, which manages the 24-hour crisis line, safe house, legal department, outreach offices, sexual assault program, client services, mental health department, and fundraising sections of the agency. “I spent 14 years in law enforcement, and domestic violence and sexual assault were always two categories that made me work a little bit harder at finding a positive outcome for those who suffered. In my years as a military police officer in the Marine Corps, I felt like the victims had nowhere to turn after I left the scene of the crime. They were sometimes thousands of miles away from their family, friends, and hometown. So, we created a program there much like what we have right here in Texarkana,” James says. “Coming into this job, I knew this was something that I could succeed in personally, and I knew I had the background to make this agency even better for the clients we serve. So far, this 022

agency has been very successful and continues to improve.” Domestic Violence Prevention serves the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They partner with agencies in Texarkana and the surrounding area that provide housing, medical care, and a variety of other resources. “We also have a very good working relationship with federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies,” James says. “In addition, we have advocates that go to local schools and clubs to teach our youth about bullying, teen dating violence, healthy family relationships, and safety planning. All of our victims’ services and education programs are 100 percent free of charge, and there is no time limit on how long we can assist our clients if the need is there.” At DVP, their main goal is to end or drastically reduce the amount of family and/or sexual violence in our area by providing emergency shelter, legal services, and counseling. “I have had many people say that this is a reaction to the crime, but studies have shown that if we can cut off what is happening in these volatile homes, the children in the homes will learn what a healthy home life looks and feels like, and they are less likely to carry unhealthy habits forward when they start a family of their own. The program also provides resources to those individuals who are currently involved in a domestic violence situation so they will know what to look for if they pursue a new relationship,” James says. “Our counseling services are geared towards helping that person get to a place where they feel ‘normal’ again and have the will to live a better life. We hope to give them the tools to provide a better environment for themselves and their children.” Though the volunteers at DVP see a lot of disheartening circumstances, they are also inspired by the growth of their clients. James says that A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1

in most cases, when an advocate meets a client for the first time, this is the lowest point in that person’s life. Volunteers often stand face-to-face with the clients who sometimes have no hope at all. “They have given their life, their health, their mental wellbeing, their income, their body, their living situation, and everything else they have available to one person. When you give every single thing you have to someone, and they abuse it, take advantage of it, and you have no ownership of your own body, that’s a hard thing to rebound from,” James says. “Our advocates know this. They know how to help, and they do it very well. Every day they get to see people come from what I’ve just explained to become vibrant members of society who know how to love again, who know how to safeguard what is theirs, and who have a genuine smile because they have retaken their life and have become so much stronger. As their supervisor, I am so proud to see that transformation in the client and the growth and satisfaction of my employees, knowing that today, they actually changed the world and potentially saved a life. There is no better feeling than that.” For the last six years, the DVP volunteers and employees pride themselves on their annual Christmas Store. In the past, only the children that were in the DVP safe house received Christmas presents. “Don’t get me wrong, giving presents to those children was a great start, but there were so many children and parents left behind that received no support. In most cases, Christmas was just another day,” James says. “So, we came together and created this store to make Christmas a time to look forward to for as many clients and their children as we could. The first year was tough; we basically begged for help. Now we have a strong group of community members and businesses that help. Because of that, we get to help more and more people every year. That first year we provided Christmas for 41 kids. This year we are looking to do a minimum of 250, and we don’t ever intend for that number to decrease.” The DVP employees and volunteers work to provide the

“We are only here to help our community to a safer place to live, raise children, and love each other.” entire Christmas experience at the store. They set up a store in a secure location, and only the staff and the clients know when and where the store will be operational. The parent gets to come and shop for what their child actually wants. “This isn’t one of those programs that gives one toy, and it’s up to whoever is handing out the toys to decide what the child gets. The parent does the selecting, and the children get way more than just one gift, just like my child or anyone else’s child in a good place in life would receive,” James says. To make sure the parents have the true Christmas experience, DVP also has wrapping stations for parents to wrap gifts on location, or they can choose to take wrapping paper with them. DVP provides hot chocolate and cookies for the shoppers, and an advocate is with them the entire time to help if needed. At the DVP safe house, the parents get the same opportunity to shop, and DVP also cooks an extravagant traditional Christmas meal. “We want them to have the same or better experience that our own kids have. For some, this is their first time experiencing Christmas,” James says. “For the others, the year has been typically pretty awful, and we want to end it on a good note.”

“Unfortunately, statistics show that 1 in 5 women will be abused in their lifetime. James says that odds are that we all know someone who has gone through or will go through domestic violence.” James encourages anyone interested to consider donating to DVP, especially during the holiday season as they prepare for the Christmas Store. Citizens can donate new toys, gifts for teenagers, or monetary donations so that DVP can buy specific things kids want from their wish list. “We also have a lot of people who want to volunteer for the Christmas store, but that is a process. We have to make sure the volunteers are the best people for our clients. We are their last line of defense, and we want to keep their identity confidential, so we can’t let anyone who has not been vetted to come in,” James says. During the holidays, DVP client numbers always escalate, so operational donations are also helpful. DVP couldn’t do the things they do regularly without general fund donations. No matter what kind of donation they receive, James says that DVP are good stewards of their resources. None of the donated money will be used except to aid clients. “If someone only wants their money going to the Christmas store, that’s exactly where that money will go. If they want their funds going to help the agency and the clients’ needs in their path back to wellness, those funds will only be used for that,” James says. “We do not give lavish bonuses, buy fancy cars, or donate to political agendas. We use every dollar for what it was intended, and this will continue to be the case. We don’t hoard funds; we simply use every donation for what it is intended. This agency is not in debt for anything. Grants pay our employees, and our locations are owned or grant-funded, so we really do reflect the title of non-profit. What we receive goes directly to client care.”

normal, but we have adapted to the climate, and we continue to provide unparalleled service. I have an amazing staff that handles it all. If we had inexperienced staff and poor community support, it would be very hard, but luckily we don’t have to worry about that.” Looking forward to 2022, DVP continues to plan on hosting the annual Christmas Store, but they are also hoping to get out into the community in other ways. They hope to host another softball tournament and a raffle at the fair like they’ve done the past few years. “We are always looking to upgrade our safe house, and we do that every chance we get. We also have Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Domestic Violence

During the pandemic the last few years, James says that they were lucky enough not to face a lot of employee illness. They had guidelines that reduced risk and seemed to work, and they never closed their doors. However, as far as cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, their numbers skyrocketed. “At any given time, our advocates would have 80 to 100 open cases at once. We served over 1700 clients at that time,” James says. “The numbers are still higher than 024

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Awareness month. For those two months, you can find our staff out and about doing presentations and education,” James says. “ If your workplace or church is looking to have someone speak, let us know, and we will see if we can get someone out to your location.” Unfortunately, statistics show that 1 in 5 women will be abused in their lifetime. James says that the odds are that we all know someone who has gone through or will go through domestic violence. “In some cases, this is a very embarrassing time, and people don’t want to open up or tell everyone what is going on. Your donations very well may be used directly to help someone you know or love, and they still get to keep their privacy,” James says. “Monetary and in-kind donations are tax-deductible, so it helps the donor during tax season. We have a great community, and we continue to need their help to continue serving the Texarkana area.” When people seek care from DVP, all of the victims’ services are absolutely 100% free of charge. If you or someone you know needs help, do not hesitate to reach out to them. “If there is any way that we can help, that’s what we are going

Santa Store 2020

to do. We are welcoming to everyone that comes through our doors. We do not select whom we like. As long as they are victims, we are there for them. We are not going to judge them or withhold services based on their race, color, socioeconomic status, beliefs, sexuality, or any other category that could be judged,” James says. “We are only here to help our community to a safer place to live, raise children, and love each other.”

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Passion for Pooches Rescue : Dawn Smith Dawn Smith has been associated with Passion for Pooches for the last fifteen years. She started fostering for the founder, Kandy Hirsch. Then, ten years ago, when Kandy decided she wanted to step back from rescue, Dawn stepped in. “I got involved because I love animals, and rescue was an outlet for my need to help them,” Dawn says. “When I took over, I wanted to save as many as possible. So instead of having two to three in rescue at a time, we have had up to 30-40 in rescue. We have gone from one to two foster homes to having five to eight foster homes at a time.” Passion for Pooches’ mission is to educate the public about the need for rescues, spay-neuter, heartworm prevention, and the need to foster and to adopt. “Fostering and adopting saves precious lives,” Dawn says. “Our rescue saves dogs from the street and takes owner surrenders. Up until the newest administration at the shelter, we also pulled dogs from our local shelter.” Though people may not realize it, animal rescues help in many circumstances, especially when families face unforeseen events. “Passion for Pooches has helped families that lost their homes due to COVID and could not take the dogs with them to their new location,” Dawn says. “We have also rescued dogs of family members who have passed away.” According to Dawn, the COVID-19 pandemic also impacted the number of dogs that need to find homes. Many people decided to take on dog ownership since they spent more time at home, working from home, and not going on vacation. “Many people thought it would be a great time to get a pup and train them, but now that they are going back to work, many are dumping the dogs because they no longer have time for them,” Dawn says.

by anne granado

Day, or a birthday, they often get them on a whim. “Once they get them home, they realize that puppies are hard work; they need training and a lot of time,” Dawn says. “Once the cuteness wears off, a lot of these dogs are dumped at the shelter or given away on social media. This can end tragically for the animal.” Passion for Pooches recently obtained its 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit organization. They hope to have several fundraisers in 2022 to help continue their mission in the community. In the meantime, they could always use financial donations, dog food, treats, bedding, and cleaning chemical supplies. “Donations to Passion for Pooches greatly impact the volunteers that work with the organization. The adoption fees rarely cover the vetting of these dogs,” Dawn says. “You can also donate directly to the vet or even sponsor a pet. Any donations will go to help the animals. Running a rescue is very expensive. Every day we spend money on cleaning supplies, fencing and repairs, food, heartworm and flea meds, collars, tags, gas, and wear and tear on the transport vehicles; the list goes on and on.” However, no matter the obstacle, Dawn wants the Texarkana community to know that Passion for Pooches truly has a heart for rescuing dogs, and they want to make sure that every animal in their care finds a loving, caring home. “We have an extensive application process, and we feel that we are responsible for the dog’s well-being from the time of rescue until the dog crosses the rainbow bridge,” Dawn says. “We want to feel confident that

Unfortunately, local rescues often see this same pattern play out over the holidays. When people decide to get a puppy for Christmas, Valentine’s 028

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“Seeing them happy and healthy in a loving home is all we need to emotionally keep going. It makes all the hard work and many, many tears worth it.” when the dog is placed in a home, we did our best to make sure they are loved and treated as family for the whole of their lives.” Even on the hard and disheartening days, when volunteers are taking on more animals than they can with less money than they may have, Passion for Pooches is continually inspired by the success stories of matching an animal to the home they’ve always wanted. “The animals inspire us!” Dawn says. “Seeing them happy and healthy in a loving home is all we need to keep going emotionally. It makes all the hard work and many, many tears worth it.”

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Temple Memorial Pediatric Center : Sandy Varner by anne granado

Sandy Varner has worked with Temple Memorial Pediatric Center for the last 11 years. She served first as executive director, and her current title is CEO. She got involved when friends who served on the board approached her about taking up an open seat. Sandy, who had previously volunteered with Temple at the telethon and other fundraisers, decided to take on the position. Now, years later, Sandy is still continually inspired by the work Temple’s employees and volunteers do for the Texarkana community. “Some of our staff have been here 15, 25 or even 30 years! This is a highly specialized staff that is dedicated to providing the best service to all that need us,” Sandy says. “Our volunteers are dedicated to supporting this cause because they see miracles happen and believe in our mission.” Temple’s mission is to “provide exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities, special needs, or functional limitations have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.” The organization was formed in 1952 in response to the Polio epidemic. Mrs. Katherine Sage Temple and an influential group of Texarkana citizens recognized the need for a pediatric clinic to provide therapy to these children, and they worked to make it happen. “The Temple family donated a three-story house for use as the first clinic, and the rest, as they say, is history!” Sandy says. “The Temple Memorial Pediatric Center has been known by many names over the past 69 years but continues to provide occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and ABA autism therapy to the area children regardless of their ability to pay.”

treatment facility in Texarkana, we were able to recruit and hire a full-time Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2020 and three Registered Behavior Techs to work in the ABA autism treatment program,” Sandy says. “It is sad that there are not more resources out there for these parents and children that need the help so badly. We have a waiting list of over 80 kids but simply cannot serve the needs of that many with the limited ABA staff that we have. But to those that have been through the program, it has been life-changing, and we are proud to be able to provide this service.” When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, the Temple Center remained open as an essential business. With client and staff safety in mind, they worked hard to stay open and continue to provide therapy to their kids so they did not regress. “We were able to switch to teletherapy with a number of our kids, and we had to control the number of people in our building. But it all worked out,” Sandy says. For Temple, the holiday season is both challenging and joyous. They often have a high cancellation rate due to families being busy and out of town for the holidays. “We try to keep the kids and families engaged with things to do at home to keep from falling behind. The Temple Center also provides a

Temple is the only non-profit pediatric outpatient therapy clinic in the Texarkana area. The center serves more than 120 children each day, and the demand for their services continues to grow. Their staff has more than doubled in number in the past ten years, reflecting the community’s need. “In response to the need for a qualified behavioral 030

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therapeutic toy/game or other needed item to each of our children for Christmas,” Sandy says. “We give it to the parent and let them choose when to let the child unwrap it. In some situations, it may be the only present they receive.” Temple is able to accomplish its mission based on the generosity of the Texarkana community. They accept cash and resource donations as well as volunteer time. After each therapy session, employees provide treats to the kids as a reward for their hard work, and these constantly need to be replaced due to the number of kids coming through each day. “Cash donations are always helpful so that we can purchase for specific needs, but we also welcome donations of things like pretzels, cheese balls, goldfish, animal crackers, Dum Dum suckers, DOTS, tootsie rolls, and snack size baggies. There is a constant need for Kleenex, Clorox wipes, paper towels, Lysol spray, exam gloves, kids socks (new), small containers of individual pudding, fruit, juice boxes, etc.,” Sandy says. “If you can donate time, we are always looking for someone that can help us coordinate and bag the snacks as well as other chores around the building.”

“Our volunteers are dedicated to supporting this cause because they see miracles happen and believe in our mission.” we only serve low-income families. Temple is here as a valuable resource for ALL the families in the Texarkana area. We have a staff of highly skilled, specialized therapists and support personnel working hard to help improve the lives of every family we serve. We hope that you never need our services, but we will be here for you if you do!”

Temple also hosts four fundraisers each year to help with much-needed resources. “Dancing with our Stars” will be held on March 10, 2022, followed by the “Tee Up for Temple” golf tournament in May. In August, they will host their annual “Drawdown and Casino Night,” which always sells out very quickly. “The Cornhole tournament is our newest fundraiser held in October, and it is growing rapidly. We try to offer a little something for everyone!” Sandy says. “The Texarkana community has been very generous to the Temple Center over the years. We have been very blessed with the community members who have served on the Board of Directors over the years and the staff who have devoted their considerable time and talents to our mission. We are lucky enough to get to witness actual miracles every day and share in the milestones that are sometimes taken for granted.” One hundred percent of every dollar raised or donated to the Temple Center remains in the Texarkana area to continue to serve its citizens, just as it has been since 1952. “Making a difference in the lives of those we serve is what we are all about,” Sandy says. “I think that because we are a non-profit that some people think that A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1


Texarkana Down Syndrome

Society : Melissa Massey

by anne granado Melissa Massey is the President of Texarkana DownSyndrome Society, which was founded in 2017. “We started this nonprofit to raise awareness and acceptance for individuals with Down Syndrome,” Melissa says. “My granddaughter Olivia has Down Syndrome, and it has been the best thing that ever happened to us!” When Melissa heard the news about Olivia’s diagnosis, she realized that there were very few resources or up-to-date information on Down Syndrome. “Texarkana has been a great place to start this nonprofit and be able to spread awareness all over the world via social media!” Melissa says. “Giving new and expecting parents a place to turn with questions, getting guidance, and providing a place for other parents to interact as they guide through the unknown has been amazing.” The mission of Texarkana DownSyndrome Society is to empower and embrace individuals throughout their lifetime and spread awareness and acceptance. The Society is supported through fundraisers such as their annual awareness walk. “This holiday season is an exciting time for our organization, now that we are able to have events like Pictures with Santa and much more to come! COVID has definitely affected our events, but we still try to spread awareness even when it’s not safe to be in large groups,” Melissa says. “This holiday season, keep your eyes open on our Facebook page, and we will post events and fundraisers as they are upcoming. We have some things in the works!”

Our members also become like family to each other,” Melissa says. “The most inspiring thing about Texarkana Down Syndrome Society is the relationships we have made and the support we have received from our wonderful community!” The Texarkana DownSyndrome Society could use donations of time or money, but they would also just love for community members to spread awareness of their mission. “Exposure is highly beneficial to our nonprofit. We want to reach as many people as we can!” Melissa says. “Other helpful ideas would be to donate books to schools about inclusion or donating a location for us to have free events for all members and families involved.” The Society is also looking for people and volunteers who want to consider becoming a part of the group. “What I wish more people knew about our organization is that we are truly dedicated to helping others who have just learned they may be facing a diagnosis they do not know much about!” Melissa. “We are always here to help!”

In February of 2022, Melissa says they are attending a conference to learn about more opportunities to spread awareness and knowledge. “This organization helps acceptance of people who are ‘differently abled’ and gives families opportunities to get involved in the community. 032

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“What I wish more people knew about our organization is that we are truly dedicated to helping others who have just learned they may be facing a diagnosis they do not know much about!”

ORDER ONLINE @ PHONE @ 903.792.3354

Pre-order by December 17th A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1



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2021 Texarkana's Top Distinguished Lawyer

Ed Miller Miller James Miller & Hornsby LLP

Edward Miller was born in Texarkana, Texas, the youngest of six children. He attended school at TISD and, upon graduating, attended Texarkana Junior College. While there, he was elected National President of Phi Theta Kappa Fraternity. After completing his work at the Junior College, he attended the University of Texas, where he obtained his undergraduate degree and his law degree. When he earned his law degree, young men were being drafted, and he joined the U.S. Navy. After completing his OCS training, he was stationed in San Francisco, where he was on the staff of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. After completing his Navy obligation, he returned to Texarkana and joined the law firm of Raffaelli and Keeney. He became involved in politics and was elected to the Texarkana, Texas City Council, where he served as Mayor Pro-Tem. After serving on the City Council, he was elected County Judge of Bowie County, Texas. During the time he served as County Judge, the new Courthouse was built in New Boston, and the Bi-State Justice Building was built in downtown Texarkana. While County Judge, he became active in the Texas Democratic Party. He was selected to represent the Texas Democratic Party on the National Democratic Party Committee. He worked on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, never dreaming that the Governor of Arkansas would get the nomination, much less elected President. After he retired as Bowie County Judge, he helped form the law firm of Miller, James, Miller, and Hornsby. He limits his practice to probate and taxes, which he enjoys very much. A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1


James N. Haltom

Jennifer H. Doan

Darby V. Doan

Joshua R. Thane

Kyle R. Akin

J. Randy Rosser

Donald R. Ross

Cole A. Riddell

Mariah L. Hornock

Congratulations To Our Attorneys For Being Voted Top Lawyers!

Texarkana | Marshall

By appointment only


903.255.1000 | 6500 Summerhill Road, Suite 100, Texarkana, TXA L T M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1

2021 Texarkana’s Top Lawyer

Jennifer Doan Haltom & Doan

Education • B.B.A. – Abilene Christian University (summa cum laude) • J.D. – University of Texas School of Law (with honors) Licenses and Certifications • Licensed to Practice Law in Texas & Arkansas • Double board-certified in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law • Texas Board of Legal Specialization Memberships • American Bar Association • State Bar of Texas • Arkansas Bar Association • Northeast Texas Bar Association • Southwest Arkansas Bar Association • Eastern District of Texas Bar Association • Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit • Federal Circuit Bar Association • Texarkana Bar Association • Texarkana Young Lawyers Association • Defense Research Institute • Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel • Texas Association of Defense Counsel • 2022 President of TEX-ABOTA • 2019-2020 Chair of Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas • 2022 Co- Chair - ABOTA Trial College at Yale School of Law • 2021-2024 ABOTA Foundation Trustee • 1993-2011 Board of Trustees Abilene Christian University

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Your Contributions Make A Difference! Adore to Restore the Ace of Clubs House!

John Mark Burgess Mark Burgess* Licensed to Practice in Texas, Arkansas and oklahoma, and Federal Courts in texas, arkansas and oklahoma.

Thank You,

for voting us as Texarkana’s Top Lawyers! Ph: (903) 838-4450 4201 Texas Blvd. Fax: (844) 270-5674 Texarkana, Texas 75503 Email:

* Board Certified – Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization; Board Certified – Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Donate today! Online: AceofClubsHouse By Mail: Ace of Clubs Fund, 219 N State Line, Texarkana, TX 75501

903-793-4831 219 N State Line Ave. Texarkana, Texas

Law Office of

David Ruff, II

Thank you Texarkana, for voting me Top Bankruptcy and Creditor Lawyer!

Licensed to practice in Texas and Arkansas

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2021 Texarkana’s Top Young Lawyer

John Mark Burgesss

Burgess Law Firm Education • Graduated Ouachita 2014 • Degree in philosophy and history • Graduated UALR Law School 2017. Licenses and Certifications • Licensed to Practice Law in Texas & Arkansas

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Ed Miller

Miller James Miller & Hornsby LLP FIRST RUNNER - UP:

Jim Haltom

Haltom & Doan NOMINEES: David Crisp Winford Dunn Errol Friedman David James Cary Patterson



Jennifer Doan Haltom & Doan


Monty G. Murry Murry Law Firm


NOMINEES: Ben King Jason Horton Nelson Roach John Ross David Ruff Lisa Shoalmire Josh Thane



John Mark Burgess Burgess Law Firm


Kyle Akin

Haltom & Doan NOMINEES: Mariah Hornok Jonathan Hornok Cade Mayo



Fred Norton

Norton & Wood LLP


Darby Doan

Haltom & Doan NOMINEES: Jim Haltom Phillip Jordan George Matteson



Troy Hornsby

Miller, James, Miller, & Hornsby LLC FIRST RUNNER - UP:

Peter Corcoran

The Corcoran Law Firm NOMINEES: Darby Doan Errol Friedman Mariah Hornok



Cade Mayo

J. Michael Brock PLLC A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1

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Fred Norton

Norton & Wood LLP NOMINEES: Kyle Davis Nick Newton



David Ruff





Burgess Law Firm

Jason Horton Law Office

Mark Burgess

Jason Horton

FIRST RUNNER - UP: Jennifer Doan Haltom & Doan


Peter Corcoran

NOMINEES: John Mark Burgess David Carter Darby Doan

NOMINEES: Cory Floyd Jeff Harrelson John Pickett



The Corcoran Law Firm

Law Office of David Ruff



FIRST RUNNER - UP: David James Miller, James, Miller & Hornsby LLP

Jordan Law Firm LLP

The Potter Law Firm

NOMINEES: Darby Doan Cory Floyd Nick Newton



John Mercy

Wes Jordan



Haltom & Doan

Harrelson Law Firm

Darby Doan

NOMINEES: Jennifer Doan Jim Haltom Troy Hornsby Nick Newton


Mercy Carter Tidwell LLP



Jason Horton Law Office

John Ross

Ross & Shoalmire PLLC NOMINEES: Cory Floyd Ben King Brent Langdon Josh Potter 042

Josh Potter

Jason Horton


Jeff Harrelson

Harrelson Law Firm NOMINEES: Errol Friedman

Jeff Harrelson NOMINEES: Jason Horton



Lisa Shoalmire

Ross & Shoalmire PLLC FIRST RUNNER - UP:

Jon Beck

Morgan, Cook, & Beck, LLP NOMINEES: Jim Haltom Ben King Ed Miller John Ross

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Greg Giles

Moore, Giles, & Matteson FIRST RUNNER - UP:

Jennifer Doan Haltom & Doan NOMINEES: Mark Elliott David Glass Louise Tausch


Licensed in all Texas State and Federal Courts

WINONIA GRIFFIN ROBERTS Certified Mediator, Arkansas and Licensed Mediator in Texas

Licensed in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma




Peter Corcoran

The Corcoran Law Firm FIRST RUNNER - UP:

Michael Friedman

Friedman Law Office NOMINEES: David Glass Brent Langdon Howard Mowery



Paul Miller

Miller, James, Miller, & Hornsby LLC FIRST RUNNER - UP:

David Glass

Family Law, Divorce, Custody, Paternity, Wills, Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements, Child Support, and Civil Litigation. Contingency Fees Available for the Right Cases. Telephone, Video, and Internet Consultations Available. Courts Are Open.

$500 off initial retainer or first invoice if retained in next 30 days.

Thank You Texarkana For voting us

Best Lawyer in Family Law

Smith Weber Law Firm NOMINEES: Mike Brock Darby Doan Nikki Laing

4142 McKnight Road Texarkana, Texas 75503

903.701.2481 903.794.4605

Not Board Certified As To Any Legal Specialty The Corcoran Law Firm A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1




Kyle Davis

Langdon Davis Law Firm FIRST RUNNER - UP: Mark Burgess Mark Burgess Law Firm NOMINEES: Jim Cook Errol Friedman


NOMINEES: Cory Floyd Greg Giles David Glass


Jennifer Doan


Haltom & Doan


David James


Miller, James, Miller, & Hornsby LLP

David Carter

Mercy Carter Tidwell LLP


NOMINEES: Darby Doan Paul Miller

John Mercy


Mercy Carter Tidwell LLP

Louise Tausch

NOMINEES: Don Capshaw James Cransford


Atchley, Russell, Waldrop & Hlavinka LLP



FIRST RUNNER - UP: Lisa McPherson Langdon Davis Law Firm

David Carter

Mercy Carter Tidwell LLP

Greg Giles

Moore, Giles, Matteson, LLP

Thank You For voting me

Best Workers Comp – Claimants Lawyer in Texarkana! Greg Giles is a top-rated attorney selected to Super Lawyers for 2019 - 2020. He works at Moore, Giles & Matteson, LLP, located in Texarkana, Arkansas, and provides legal services for issues involving Social Security Disability and Workers' Compensation: Claimant to the surrounding community. Only a few attorneys from each state are selected to Super Lawyers designation for any given year. The multifactor selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and evaluations, as well as professional achievement in legal practice.

(870) 774-5191 1206 N State Line Ave, Texarkana, AR 71854 044

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NOMINEES: Darby Doan David Glass Brent Langdon

Mark Burgess

Mark Burgess Law Firm NOMINEES: David Carter Matthew Golden Mike Unger James Wyly



Monty G. Murry


Murry Law Firm

Marshall Wood

Mark Burgess



Norton & Wood LLP

Burgess Law Firm


NOMINEES: David Carter David Glass Matthew Golden Nelson Roach Josh Thane Mike Unger

Josh Thane

Haltom & Doan




Darby Doan Haltom & Doan


Marshall Wood

Norton & Wood LLP NOMINEES: Fred Norton Brent Langdon



David Glass

The Glass Firm

THE GLASS FIRM A Professional Limited Liability Company

Client Focused Result Driven


Civil Litigation Law Firm Practicing in Texas and Arkansas, State and Federal Courts

Thank You Texarkana,

for voting me BEST Product Liability - Plaintiffs Lawyer! Summerhill Plaza 5325 Summerhill Road | Texarkana, Texas 75503 Ph: 903/334-7321 | Fax: 903/334-7320

Visit us @ A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1



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Murry Law Office Specializing in Auto, Truck & Motorcycle Accidents

Voted Texarkana’s Top Personal InjuryPlaintiffs Lawyer 2021

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Monty G. Murry, Murry Law Office 3918 Texas Blvd. | Texarkana, TX 75503 903.823.3000 | Fax 903.823.3002

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Nelson Roach

Roach Langston Bruno LLP NOMINEES: Jennifer Doan Bruce Flint Matt Soyars Mike Unger

NOMINEES: Butch Dunbar Nick Newton



John Ross

Ross & Shoalmire PLLC


David Glass

The Glass Firm NOMINEES: Mike Unger





Don Capshaw

Miller James Miller & Hornsby LLP

Elliot Law Firm

NOMINEES: Jon Beck Tina Green Ben King Lisa Shoalmire Mike Unger

Darby Doan



Kyle Davis

Langdon Davis Law Firm NOMINEES: Mike Brock Cory Floyd Phillip Jordan

Ed Miller

FIRST RUNNER - UP: Haltom & Doan NOMINEES: Greg Giles




Ed Miller

Moore, Giles, & Matteson


Jeff Elliott

Greg Giles

Miller James Miller & Hornsby LLP FIRST RUNNER - UP:

Fred Norton

Norton & Wood LLP

In loving memory of Joseph Travis Tyler | 1980-2021 048

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The Express Clydesdales by: Susan Whitten

The Express Clydesdales were at Runnin’ WJ Ranch’s 20th Year celebration event at Twisted Fork on October 19th and then at the ranch on October 20th. Local children were able to visit, pet, and take photos with the horses. It was an amazing opportunity for so many children & schools to see the Clydesdales up close! Runnin’ WJ Ranch thanks everyone for their help & support throughout the years! So many have been difference-makers, some quietly similar to the Gentle Giants you see here in these pictures, while others have made more of a splash. It’s crazy to think it’s been 20 years since Runnin WJ Ranch was first established! Patricia Weldon, thank you for everything you poured into the ranch, the children, and the staff! Sam Clem, thank you for who you are, the ‘outstanding’ love you live your life with, and the impact that you have made on countless children, teachers, staff, and other adults. It’s impossible to name all who have been an integral part of Runnin’ WJ over the years. Here’s to the next 20 years & beyond. Runnin’ WJ is a Christian, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to enhance the quality of life for an individual with special needs, veterans who have been wounded or disabled on active duty, and those who are challenged with disabilities and/or situations in their lives which are debilitating. This purpose may be carried out through but shall not be limited to the provision of equine-assisted activities and therapeutic riding for children and adults in the Texarkana, Texas, and Texarkana, Arkansas, areas with physical, mental, emotional, and learning disabilities, and veterans. Additionally, this purpose can include job skill training for adults to help build self-confidence, self-esteem and contribute to their success in life and implementing those skills. The core of the operation is found in its over 400 volunteers. Runnin’ WJ Ranch is a PATH International Premier Accredited Center ( It is under the direction of Executive Director Brittany Rogers and Developmental Director Sam Clem, and is funded by organizations, foundations, and individual donors. How fortunate are we, here in the ArkLaTex, to have these amazing animals touch more than 1000 people, children and adults, through a two-day birthday celebration for Runnin’ WJ!

In 1983, Express Employment Professionals was co-founded by Bob Funk. Today, the company annually employs over 552,000 people across more than 825 franchise locations worldwide. Their long-term goal is at the heart of their company’s vision, similar to Runnin’ WJ Ranch. It’s about helping others. Express Employment Professionals have utilized the ‘Express Clydesdales’ as a neighborhood marketing tool for the Express brand since 1998. Clydesdales are big, powerful, refined draft horses named after and imported from Clydesdale, Scotland. Historically, there were bred to work in the fields and on the streets of cities. In 1826, the first recorded use of the term ‘Clydesdales’ was documented. The breed was developed from Flemish stallions imported to Scotland and crossed with local mares. The word ‘Clydesdales’ originated from an area around the River Clyde in Scotland.

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Suzie TK Snippets By: Suzie Tyler

Who Am I If you were to ask someone, “Who is Suzie Tyler?” their first thought would be bling and shoes! But… there is another side of me… the music side! I

I learned to play a musical instrument when I was ten and played an accordion or piano in a church service at age 12. I heard tones in my head and matched them to the sounds coming from the keyboard. I had no idea where B flat was on a piece of music or the keyboard, but I knew the three chords used to play a hymn in the key of B flat.

If you hummed it, I would play it! My parents didn’t realize the importance of lessons because I could play anything I heard! I also was a curious child. It was not enough to hear and play it, I wanted to know the structure of what I was playing! I didn’t realize it was the theory of music! I’m sure I made a nuisance of myself asking questions of every good pianist I heard! I watched and asked why and how they knew what to play! Probably the turning point was when our choir director in Conroe wanted the choir to do a cantata for Easter! But, I couldn’t read music, so I went to my daughter’s piano teacher and thought she could teach me in a few weeks! Wrong! After telling me she didn’t teach adults, especially those who played by ear, she reluctantly agreed to teach me the basics, and I would have to apply myself to learn the rest! I was determined and literally said Every Good Boy Does Fine and wrote out above the notes for each vocal part and memorized the music. The accompaniment was written in chords, so I figured out the name of each one and wrote it above the cluster of notes then memorized them! I had an LP recording of the cantata and played it repeatedly and matched the sounds with the notes and chords, and I was home free! At the end of the presentation night, I felt accomplished, but the knowledge I gained was priceless! Sometimes I still hear John Peterson’s No Greater Love playing in my head! With determination and perseverance, you can conquer anything! Check out my blog post online. I will give you an inside look at my travels in the Houston area and my experiences playing for various groups and soloists in Texarkana! No snake stories, but some were pretty amazing! A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1


New Year, New (Financial) You FAMILY AND LIFESTYLE

Put your financial health first

With a new year around the corner, self-improvement may be top of mind for many. We hope that resolve applies to your financial plan too. Statistics show the percentage of people who stick to their resolutions is somewhere in the single digits, but these financial resolutions are well within reach, with a little professional guidance.

Women are still more likely to be caregivers for their children and elderly family members, and they may set aside some of their peak earning years to do so. Additionally, women generally live longer than men, even though they tend to make less throughout their lifetimes. Because of this, retirement savings often suffer and women may find themselves trying to play catch-up in later years. To boot, women often think of their earnings as benefitting the family rather than their future self.

Five healthy financial habits for women investors to weave into their 2022 goals.

Close the gender gap in life insurance We’ve known for decades about the gender gap in salaries and how important it is to close. Progress is being made, but there is still a way to go. Unfortunately, the gap also exists when it comes to life insurance. According to findings from the 2021 Insurance Barometer Study, just 47% of women have life insurance versus 58% of men, and 32% of those with no coverage admitted to needing it. Additionally, women tend to place a lower financial value on their lives than men when buying policies. If you don’t have life insurance, it’s worth a conversation with an advisor to help you determine how much coverage you need. The age-old formula of buying five or 10 times your annual salary is no longer advisable as there are considerations that go beyond your W2, like women’s unpaid labor in the household (think: laundry, childcare, cooking and cleaning). If you do have protection, revisit the policy’s value; you may need more coverage than you once did. 054

The same way you’re supposed to put your mask on first in a flight emergency, you should prioritize ensuring your retirement savings are on track to cover what you’ll need later. The start of the year is a good time to reexamine how much you’ve saved and how much you’ll need to retire the way you envision. Give yourself as much time as possible to up your contributions or alter investments if need be.

Budget to lighten the load during business times It’s happened to all of us: Someone’s out of clean socks or the leaves are piling up in the backyard. We live busy lives, trying to keep up with work and family and take care of our homes – never mind squeeze in time for leisure every once in a while, too. Maybe dialing back on how many chores you’re packing in each weekend will give you that time around the fireplace with family or cocktails with friends that makes you feel balanced. But you can’t just let the fridge go unstocked or abandon the dry cleaning. A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1


Keep the giving going One silver lining from the pandemic? Charitable giving is up. According to the Giving USA report, Americans gave more money to charity in 2020 than the previous year – up 5.1% year over year, or a 3.8% increase when adjusted for inflation. Despite the financially challenging year some faced, the desire to help was high. And studies show single women, holding consistent income and wealth, are more likely to give to charity than single men. If generosity feels good, work with your advisor to create a plan to keep the kindness going. Create your giving goals, vetting specific institutions, at the outset of the year so you can allocate donations accordingly. We all want the opportunity to help when we see a story on our Facebook

feed or a local news report, but earmarking a certain amount at the start of the year allows you to be purposeful with your giving and align it to your values. It will also ensure you’re maximizing tax benefits.

Set up a monthly check in It’s important to regularly assess your financial health. While automation ensures bills are paid and money’s being invested, it could mean you run the risk that your investments are no longer aligned to your current situation or newly formed goals or you haven’t accounted for changes in your financial life. It’s as simple as asking Siri or Alexa to remind you to set a financial goal for that month. During one session, you may want to sit down with your advisor and discuss the risk level of your portfolio. In the next, you might want to reevaluate your budget with your spouse or partner. The idea is that you remain in touch with your finances and are continually setting new objectives for your financial endeavors. Even if you don’t make formal resolutions, these healthy financial habits are something to keep in mind throughout the year to ensure you’re on track for building safety and security – and wealth – in 2022.


*Raymond James is not affiliated with the phone apps mentioned above.

© 2021 Raymond James Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange / SIPC, and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC, are subsidiaries of Raymond James Financial, Inc. Raymond James® and Raymond James Financial® are registered trademarks of Raymond James Financial, Inc.

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financial focus

Consider outsourcing some of the most time-consuming and (dare we say) dull chores to get more meaningful time back in your life. To make it happen, set aside funds in your 2022 budget. As we head into the new year, make a list of the chores that give you the biggest headache (or the ones that will give you the most time back in your week) and calculate how much it would cost to outsource them. Apps like TaskRabbit, Thumbtack and Handy allow you to book services only when you need them, instead of making a regular commitment.


Fish Tales with Mike Brower Trout Say What? This is the month for trout all over Arkansas. To start with, the Game & Fish folks will start stocking rainbow trout at Albert Pike and below Greeson in the Little Missouri River. They should stock every couple of weeks or so at the dam and at the Old Factory site about three miles downriver. The trout tend to be smaller than the rainbows in other places, but you can have fun catching them with the kids. The better fishing this time of year tends to be up at Heber Springs, in the Little Red River flowing out of Greers Ferry. The trout there are bigger, and you can catch several species like Rainbows, Browns, Cutthroat, and Brookies. The Brown trout spawning run is from now until the end of December, which can be really neat if you can catch them not generating electricity from the spillway at Greers Ferry. If they are generating, you will not be able to fish much or any of the 29 miles of river with trout except by boat. I’ve fished there at low water, and the fishing is fun. You are not going to catch 10+, but you will catch some nice fish in the two- to six-pound range. Then we have the premier trout river in most of the world, the White River. Floating the White is a truly great time! You will catch browns and rainbows and, if you are lucky, a really big brown in the 10+ pound size. All three places can be fished wading or by boat, and you can fish with either a spinning or fly rod, which makes it nice. So for something different, go check out the trout fishing in Arkansas.

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DO NOT STOP REACHING FOR YOUR GOALS! (903) 796-5438 | 108 N Loop 59 | Atlanta, TX 75551 (870) 772-4328 | 2229 Trinity Blvd. | Texarkana, AR 71854 (870) 898-5700 | 1420 Constitution Ave. | Ashdown, AR 71822 (903) 832-5438 | 600 North Kings Hwy | Wake Village, TX 75501 (903) 628-0035 | 980 James Bowie Drive | New Boston, TX 75570


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y a d i l Ho Cleaners 870.773.4072

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Homeownership It’s not too late to give yourself the gift of homeownership this holiday season. I can help you assess your financial situation and guide you on the next steps towards getting into the home of your dreams.

JASON CREE Cell: 903.277.2726 Office: 903.223.5632

Branch Manager | Sr. Loan Officer NMLS #209270 | 3101 Kennedy Lane, Suite 200 Texarkana, TX 75503 © 2021 SWBC. All rights reserved. Loans are subject to credit and property approval. Other restrictions and conditions may apply. Programs and guidelines are subject to change without notice. Rates are subject to change daily. Corporate office located at 9311 San Pedro Avenue, Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78216. SWBC Mortgage Corporation, NMLS #9741 ( 1060-A4314 01/21


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Thank You for Six Great Years!

Care. Compassion. Community. 903.838.8000 4646 Cowhorn Creek | Texarkana, TX 75503

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December Events 4th • Hooks on Main Fun family event for everyone! 30+ vendors, Breakfast with Santa, Santa’s Workshop sponsored by Hooks ACE Program, and the Hooks VFD BBQ Christmas Parade. 8am-2pm. 4th • Farmer’s Bank & Trust United Bowl 2021 Saturday, December 4, 2021 @ Razorback Stadium in Texarkana, Arkansas Tailgating starts at 8 a.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. Kick-off is at 12 noon. The Farmers Bank & Trust Live United Bowl is an annual college football bowl game played between two of the top teams at the NCAA Division II level. It is one of only three NCAA Division II sanctioned bowl games. The at-large opponent is chosen from either the Lone Star Conference or the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Tickets can be purchased at the game, or at the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, the United Way Office, the participating universities and at any MilWay Credit Union Branch for $4. 6th • Ashdown Christmas Parade The annual Ashdown Christmas parade begins at 6 pm on Monday, December 6th! Parade entry forms are due by December 3rd. 11th • Show Me Reptile & Exotics Show Saturday 10:00am-3:30pm, Reptiles after Dark (Saturday only) 6-9pm, General admission price, Sunday 10 am - 3:30 pm, VIP - 9am entry: $15, GA - 10am entry: $10. Weekend warrior $20 at the door covers VIP both days and Reptiles after Dark (at select events) $1 dollar of each paid admission and $5 bucks of each booth goes to support USARK. Show proof of your USARK membership for $1 off entry price at the door! 11th • Atlanta, Texas 9th Annual Hometown Christmas Event This event is sure to be one of the best yet and we can’t wait to see you there. We will have our snow hill ready to enjoy along with the reindeer and elves so don’t miss this one! The main event begins at 4pm.


Merry Christmas!

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Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Local Rescues




Passion For Pooches


Boxer Rescue of Texarkana



Texarkana Animal League


Muttley Crew


The Animal Care & Adoption Center of Texarkana, Arkansas is located at 203 Harrison, Texarkana, AR, 71854. For more information, call 870.773.6388, or visit: www. or AdoptionTXK. Please note, all dogs adopted from this shelter MUST be spayed or neutered. Spays cost $89-$104, neuters are $76-$92 depending on the weight of the dog. We also have SPONSORED dogs and cats! This means someone has already paid for their vetting! Come see who’s waiting! We are always in need of caring, capable volunteers to assist in with duties at the center, adoption events, fund-raising activities and more. Open Monday-Friday 11AM 5PM; Saturday 11AM - 2PM.


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FEATURED LISTING Bill Spradlin Realtor 903-748-3186

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Jan Williams Realtor 903-277-5771


Pam Hollingsworth Realtor 903-277-1222

John Trubia Realtor 817-701-8402 Now Servicing the Dallas Fort Worth Area!

Ronnie Olson Realtor 903-280-6831

Amber Howeth Administrative Assistant 903-223-0710

Brenda Elrod Property Manager 903-559-1511

Stephanie Barthel Property Manager 903-559-1511 A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1

1356 N. Kings Hwy. | Nash, TX 75569 | 903.223.0710 |


Give the Gift of Beautiful Skin DeU Holiday Limited Edition Kit THIS IS A $385 VALUE FOR ONLY $99! YOU CAN ADD-ON A FACIAL FOR ONLY $45!

A FULL Size Seaweed Serum Gel, A FULL Size ALL-In-One Flash Roll-On , Travel Size Deep Blue Exfoliating Scrub Cleanser, Travel Size Oceanwave Face Wash, Travel Size Oligomarine Hydrating Cream, ALL-IN-ONE Serum Single Vial


Start with a Detox Foot Soak, followed by a Full Body Sea Salt Exfoliating Scrub, then a Shea Butter Hydrating Treatment & Body Wrap, and the finale is a light, customized Massage & Body Buff Treatment.

You will feel so relaxed & ready for the holidays!





Thank You! ALT



5303 Cowhorn Creek | Texarkana, TX 75503 | A LT M a g a z i n e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1 903.831.5659 064