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Publishing & Sales Office: Connections Advertising P.O. Box 2256 Harker Heights, TX 76548

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www.connectionspm.com Editorial & Public Relations Director: Jessica Rivera jrivera@connectionspm.com Vice President: Jose Rivera Graphics Design Director: Jose A. Rivera art@connectionsad.net Staff Writer: Terryn Kelly tkelly@connectionsad.net Contributors: Name List Posted Soon Check out our website for Art Gallery & Poetry Gallery Contributors

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National Association of W.O.M.E.N. is a community of women that provides support and education to encourage the promotion of our businesses with the intention of enriching the lives of Women, Owners, Moms, Entrepreneurs, and Networkers who are focused on success for their business and their families. Contact the National Association of W.O.M.E.N. Phone: (614) 557-1721 Fax: (866) 521-0873 Email: info@nationalassociationofwomen.com Renee Belbeck, CEO & Founder

Keep a look out for our next Issue where we will be premiering “You GLOW Girl Mobile Spray Tan� This one of a kind service is just what you need, in the privacy of your own home. More information coming soon

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Project Angel Tree By: Terryn Kelly – 12/2012

further action is taken from there.

With Christmas only weeks away, the spirit of giving back is in full affect here in Bell County. Project Angel Tree, which is coordinated through the Jesus Acts in Inmate's Lives or J.A.I.L. Ministry, has been serving the community for more than 10 years. The program allows sponsors to purchase gifts for the children of prison inmates on behalf of the absentee parent. Its focus is on children from birth until the age of 18. Coordinator Jeannette Kelley has been a volunteer within the ministry for 13 years. She said this program differs from others because it is a more personalized donation. The incarcerated parent must first fill out a request form and

“We call the caretakers whoever that might be, the mother the grandmother anybody, no matter where they are in Bell County. We ask the sizes of the children and learn what they want. They have a $25 limit on any gift. It doesn’t mean that is has to cost $25, but that can be the high end of the gift,” Kelley said. “They can get a little outfit for a baby, a learning toy, and the third gift is from a sponsor or from the church.” Most children will receive 3 gifts. Although the third gift must be Christian related, Kelley said it is okay to be creative when deciding what to give. “There are so many other things that you can get besides a bible. As a matter of fact, someone bought in a precious wooden puzzle for a one or two-year-old that was Noah’s Ark.” Angel Tree is a faith-based community-wide Christmas project which is operated entirely by volunteers. It is supported by local churches, service clubs, schools, and civic organizations. “We have the Temple Daily Telegram business office who likes to take a few children, and some attorneys as well,” Kelley said. “We have these big brown envelopes with the children's information in them, and we make sure they are all correct. We have a package here that is going to go to Hope Community Church, and they took 10 children. A bigger church is taking 25 to start.” Funding is also needed for the children who do not get sponsored and for both shipping and administrative expenses. Monetary do nations are greatly appreciated. Gifts will be delivered locally by the church or organization to the child's home. For more information about the Angel Tree Project you can send an email to angeltreebell@gmail.com

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Creative Art Gallery

By: Lauren Smith

By: Teresa Magana

“Art is a sort of therapy that brings peace to your heart & soul.� By: Robert Ogier

We are still looking for more Artists to Showcase Contact us at:

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By: Angela Martin 254-423-5071

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Visit the Website:

vidayalma.com Find & “Like� Vida y Alma on

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Working During the Holidays By: Terryn Kelly – 12/2012

The holidays are a time that is spent with family and friends. While some people receive the day off many will be rushed back to work. Student and cashier Blair Russel is one of many who's future will be the same as last year. She will have to hurry and return to her job, for Black Friday. “Who wants to go back to work the day after Thanksgiving? I am a little irritated because I do not live here, which means I have to travel four hours to go home. I will not have the day before off either. The visit is just going seem so rushed, I won’t have time to really enjoy myself,” she said. “Last Thanksgiving was bitter sweet, I was glad to see my family, but in the back of my mind I was bummed to go back to work the next day. The previous year, Russell had spoken with her manager weeks in advance about taking the day before, and the day after Thanksgiving off, but she was told it would not be possible. “In the retail world the day after Thanksgiving, until the beginning of January, are called blackout dates. This means that you have to work during these days, and no one can ask for time off, unless you have a doctor’s note,” she said. Junior education major and waitress Maria Garza was able to enjoy her mother’s turkey and dressing Thanksgiving Day. However, she had no time lie around and sleep off all the food she ate due to work. “I didn't receive Thursday off last year; we were open 2-10 p.m. My family lives close by so having to work that day was not so bad, but no one wants to work on the holidays. I think the owner should take into consideration that we work so much during the year, and just give us that day off. Some things are more important than making money,” she said. For cashier Lisa Munoz, working during the holidays is not something new to her. She had to work last Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, even though she asked for them off. “That was the second year in a row I had to work on Thanksgiving. The first year was tough because I had a relative pass and I just wanted to be around family. I think last year was easier for me,” she said. Munoz was happy that was surrounded by caring co-workers during the holidays, which lightened her mood. “My job tried to soften the blow of having to work. They put decorations up and we had a potluck, and everyone brought their favorite dishes. It was nice, but there is nothing like your own family’s cooking around the holidays.” Munoz is grateful to have a job but she does miss her past when she had less responsibilities. She said, “I know I am not the only one in the world that has to work Thanksgiving, but I envy those who do get the day off, and get to spend time with their loved ones. I used to take those days for granted when I was younger. I just assumed even as an adult I would be at home with my family and not at work.” Page 8

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Learn More About how you can help support the MD Anderson Cancer Center Children's Art Project by visiting: http://childrensart.org/

For more information Call 254-423-5071 or email: advertise@connectionspm.com 2601 Atkinson Ave, Killeen, Texas 76543 Email us at: habitat@clearwire.net. Call us at: 254-680-4007. Bell County Habitat for Humanity, Inc. is a non-profit affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, an ecumenical, Christian housing ministry dedicated to seeking to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope in Bell County and the surrounding area. By building affordable, energy efficient homes for low-income families using volunteer labor and providing a zero percent mortgage, Habitat is maintaining affordable housing and eliminating poverty housing one family at a time. We are a United Way Agency.

For more information, visit our web site at

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Canstruction

By: Terryn Kelly – 12/2012

A fun way to get communities involved in feeding the needy and donate large amounts of canned food has surfaced in the form of a competitive event. This past February, the city of Belton had its second Canstruction which was held at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the Mayborn Campus Center. Never heard of such a contest? Director of Community Relations and Administration Thomas Strickland said it is, “A competition between groups seeking to put together the best design made out of canned goods with the ultimate purpose of providing food to those in need in the community. On the local level we are looking to have our 3rd competition in 2013; However, Canstruction has consisted since 1992,” He said. “It gives various organizations and businesses an opportunity to work together in an event that generates not only publicity for them, but most importantly, a greater awareness throughout our local community of the need of the underprivileged.” There were many local teams that participated, and did not disappoint with memorable “canstructed” works of art. Miller Heights Baptist Church won People’s Choice. Belton Tiger’s Bible CANnectors (FBC) was awarded Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Honorable Mention and Most Cans. They received glass trophies for these categories. There are no restrictions or specifications as to what the contestants decide to create. “Designs are limited only by the group’s imagination and perhaps the types of cans available to them (consideration maybe put into size and color of canned good (s) used.) Once a decision is made, a blueprint of the structure is usually drawn up by an engineer or architect. Building time ranges between one and three hours,” Strickland said. A structure titled “Open Your Heart” designed by Architectural Edge, won numerous awards such as Juror’s Favorite, which they won both last and this year, and Best Theme. The team can now add another achievement to a growing list of accomplishments; the Structural Ingenuity Award in the international competition. The society for Design Administration’s Annual Convention in Portland, OR hosted the awards ceremony on May 4. The dates for the next Canstuction are set for January 24-26, at the same location. All food and money collected will help stock the food pantry of Helping Hands Ministry in Belton. For more information please visit www.helpinghandsbelton.org/canstruction or call 254-9397355.

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Albert "Chato" Gauna Jr. Endowed Scholarship The Albert “Chato” Gauna, Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship is given to a student who has an APPROVED DEGREE PLAN leading to an Associate Degree from Central Texas College. Financial need shall be the first consideration. A student who receives this award must take a minimum of six (6) credit hours and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 an each semester receive a GPA of 2.0 or better. Class can be taken at Central Texas College District or Service Area campuses. The passing of a loved one is probably one of the hardest things that anyone can deal with, but we all know that they live on in our hearts and minds. The love we have for them goes on always and forever. Setting up a scholarship in memory of a loved one can be beneficial to their family as it helps preserve the memory of their loved one. Albert "Chato" Gauna Jr. was a very loving and compassionate person that was taken from us way to soon. His hopes and dreams of attending college were shattered when he was taken at the age of 19. His legacy lives on through the Endowed Scholarship so that someone's dream may be fulfilled. The Endowment Scholarship has been set-up and will provide a student with some financial support— but not much. This is where you can help. We are seeking assistance in hopes of raising a full-year’s tuition for the Scholarship recipient. Contact Jessica Rivera at 254-423-5071 or jrivera@connectionspm.com for information on how to donate to this scholarship. Every little bit will help and will be greatly appreciated from both our family and the student that is awarded this wonderful Scholarship. If you would like to apply for this foundation please contact Central Texas College Foundation.

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Many traditions exemplify what Hispanic Traditions are all about and Christmas is one of those Special Holidays that truly brings out what is wonderful about Hispanic Traditions. Las Posadas is a commemoration of the journey that Mary and Joseph took from Nazareth to Bethlehem as they searched for a place to stay before giving birth to Jesus. Hispanics commemorate these same days in Celebration of what the Spirit of Christmas is truly about. They honor timeless traditions with candlelit processions, Colorful Piñatas filled with candy and surprises for children, as well as gatherings that create everlasting memories to cherish forever and ever. But they do not stop there, they also sing villancios and strengthen bonds with family and friends. They come to La Nochebuena with their hearts filled with joy and their souls uplifted with nothing but anticipation, because they know that this is the time of Family, Love, Hope, Peace and Miracles. For centuries in many Latin American countries, especially Mexico, they reenact the journey that Mary and Joseph took and they look to this tradition with a happy heart and soul. In the United States this beautiful tradition started in the 1930s on Olvera Street in Los Angeles, California. But it does not stop there because this tradition is celebrated from Los Angeles to San Antonio, Texas to Phoenix and St. Louis. Las Posadas is a representation of what Hispanics hold in their hearts – “Traditions” and many people from other cultures look forward to this time honored tradition every year. What a wonderful way to celebrate this Beautiful Season. In Puerto Rico there are big celebrations called parrandas or trullas navideñas, which is much like the tradition here in the United States called Caroling. Hispanics in Puerto Rico gather in front of neighbors doorsteps while playing instruments and singing. The neighbor invites them in and they continue to celebrate with more music, food and dancing. The group then goes on to the next house and starts all over again. This truly shows what the season is all about – Peace on Earth and who would want it any other way. J. Rivera – 12/2012 Page 14

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Christmas Punch

Ingredients

8 quarts water 1 lb tejocotes, 3 whole oranges 8 guavas, 2 lbs sugar cane 1 lb pitted prunes, 3 pears 1 C. Raisins 3 sticks cinnamon 2 1/2 lb. piloncillo

Instructions 1) Bring quart of water to boil; then add Tejocotes, lower heat & simmer for 8 minutes, remove fruit, peel & cut off hard ends. 2) Peel Sugar Cane & cut into circles & cut Piloncillo into large pieces. Prepare rest of fruit as you would normally to eat then cut them all into large chunks. 3) Add fruit and sugar to water with Tejocotes until boiled then lower heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours stirring gently occasionally. After that add Piloncillo and Cinnamon & simmer for another 30 minutes. 4) Remove from heat – Put in Cups to ENJOY. * Add Rum or Brandy if desired but remember Drink Responsibly & don't offer anyone under 21 any Alcohol. Most Importantly DON'T Drink & Drive.

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Connections Plus Magazine December 2012 Issue