Georgetown View • September 2022

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SEPTEMBER 2022

Tiny Homes with a Big Heart Building Forever Homes for BiG Citizens September Focus Outdoorsmen & Women and Beauty & Personal Care A Multi-Feature Look at Hunting, Sporting, and Healthy Pampering

SEPTEMBER 2022

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INSIDE FEATURES COVER STORY 8 BiG is Changing Lives and Lifestyles

FEATURES

WILDFIRE PREVENTION Expert Help from the Fire Chief

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SEPTEMBER SPECIALS:

OUTDOORSMEN & WOMEN AND BEAUTY & PERSONAL CARE

FAVORITES

FAVORITES

EXPERIENCE GEORGETOWN K-9 Kerplunk

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SHELTER STORIES Volunteering at the Shelter

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ARTS GTX Film Festival

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WORTH THE DRIVE Texas Cave Trail

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HEALTHY HABITS 44 The Science of Ketamine Therapy

THRIVING AFTER 55

WHAT MAKES TEXAS "TEXAS"? Dance Halls

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POPPY TALKS UFOs Are Real

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PARTING SHOT Celebrating Shirley Rinn

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KIDS 18 A Century of Scouting in Georgetown THRIVING AFTER 55 Sun City Rod & Gun Club

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HEALTHY IS BEAUTIFUL Outside the Box Ideas

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FOOD Recipes To Improve Your Health Inside and Out

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Next Month... HEALTHCARE

ON THE COVER

Rendering of Grace Place, a visionary and tiny home community for the Citizens of BiG to live independently. Courtesy Luke Ellis.

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A multi-feature look at health & beauty and sporting outdoors.

SEPTE MBER 2022

Visit our Facebook page for follow-ups to these stories, out-takes & hints to those upcoming...

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EDITOR'S NOTE | ANN MARIE KENNON

Published by Optimus Media Group, LLC PUBLISHER | Cathy Payne

cathy@georgetownview.com

Like many of the best in her craft, Cathy has a specialized degree—in her case, hard science—and a gift for writing. She found her voice and fulfilment reporting and writing news and magazine features for a regional Central Texas audience. Along with serving as the publisher of the Georgetown View, Cathy oversees multiple news magazines, marketing campaigns, and books.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR | Ann Marie Kennon annmarie@georgetownview.com With a 30 years of writing, reporting, design, and marketing behind her, Ann Marie enjoys sharing her vision and voice with a Central Texas audience. She believes being involved in and writing about local communities is the best way to show her affection and appreciation of everything Texan.

SENIOR WRITER / COPY EDITOR Charlotte Kovalchuk CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linda A. Thornton • Cassidie Cox • Elle Bent EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR Camy Reynolds GRAPHICS & DESIGN Sandra Evans • Ann Marie Kennon CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Rudy Ximenez • Christianna Bettis IT / WEBMASTER Jesse Payne

ADVERTISING Mark Elliott 512-240-2267 • 512-598-3500 mark@georgetownview.com

Georgetown View is an Optimus Media Group, LLC publication and a product of AdvocateNewsTX Newspaper Copyright © 2022 All rights reserved. Georgetown View is published monthly and individually mailed USPS, free of charge, to homes and businesses in Georgetown, TX zip codes. Mail may be sent to Georgetown View, P.O. Box 203, Jarrell, TX 76537.

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This month’s issue covers quite a range of topics. Our special sections began with hunting and sporting outdoors. We wanted to celebrate the season and the men and women around town who make the most of our Texas landscapes. For contrast, we also focus on outside-thebox habits that also make us feel healthy and beautiful. Fortunately, a good dose of sunshine is great for both, and there's never a shortage of sun here. Our congratulations go out to the leadership and youngsters in Georgetown Scout Pack 151 on their 100th anniversary. It's hard to imagine many other groups that have done so much to help children and young men learn to appreciate nature and the outdoors. Our cover story is an annual feature in memoriam for Gracie Kiltz and celebration of the Citizens of BiG. This year it includes an update on the beautiful independent living community that will soon be reality just outside of Georgetown. Teaching their Citizens about their own inherent value and all the things they have to contribute to this world is nothing short of amazing. Another timely feature takes a look at wildfires, the men and women who go through so much to fight them, and what we can all do to be aware and help prevent them. In the save-the-date category, there's still time to purchase tickets to the Georgetown Film Festival and see what all the buzz is about. Their new leadership is taking the festival into new directions and to new heights. If nothing else, it's a good excuse to spend your day on the downtown Square while supporting the arts. Meanwhile, we wish our students, clubs, and fall teams well this month and remember our firefighters and first responders on the 21st anniversary of 9/11. I wish we had a 100page magazine to cover stories for all of you.

New friends B.J. Hegemeyer and Cindy Haas invited us to kick off the new school year at a Boys & Girls Club fundraiser.


SEPTEMBER 2022

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F EAT URE CO VER

Guided by Grace, BiG Embraces its by Linda A. Thornton

E

rin Kiltz remembers, as if it were yesterday, the first time she watched her daughter, Gracie Rebekah, examine a flower with such wonder and delight. In that moment she realized, though her little girl may have been born with Down syndrome, and suffered other complications during a fight against Leukemia making her unable to walk or talk, the love that radiated from her 1000-kilowatt smile made her someone special. Many times thereafter, Erin and her family members wondered—who is actually teaching who? With a gleam in her eyes and the power fueled by a mother’s love, Erin tackles each day with a fierce determination to change how the world perceives adults with special needs. But not a day goes by that she doesn’t reflect on Gracie. Erin’s eye for detail is everywhere, a testament to the esteem she and BiG hold for their Citizens— hand towels folded just so in the restrooms, framed

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proverbs that line the restaurant walls, and upscale items beautifully displayed alongside the impressive Citizen-created products in the gift shop. All of these delicate touches are enveloped by the well-oiled machine of BiG's day to day operations.


CO VER

Erin Kiltz (center) at "A Decade of BiG" in 2021

F EAT U RE

s Future GUIDED BY THE GRACE OF GOD Erin laughs as she remembers her first strategic plan, one she called “failing forward.” Resolute on finding a place for Gracie and others like her to thrive once they aged out of school, she came upon the Brookwood Community in Brookshire, Texas. She felt she was one step closer to creating what would later become “a God-centered nonprofit that provides meaningful jobs and community for adults with special needs.” Erin recalls many miracles sustained her along the way. At the start, not only was Brookwood willing to share information, the

executive director gave Erin her personal number and guided her every step of the way. The second blessing came when, for the first time in their 40-year history, Brookwood gave permission for the use of their name and Brookwood In Georgetown (BiG) was officially founded.

RESIDENT EXPERT The blessings continued when Erin first met Luke Ellis. This charming young man and his wife, Kristi, were house parents for 12 male adults on the Brookwood campus. Seeing Luke’s obvious passion for Brookwood’s mission Erin needed no additional encouragement to hire him as residential director. Over time, Erin realized this person who was of one heart with her should become her successor. Earlier this year she rallied for Luke to be named BiG’s executive director and the board agreed. Now founder emeritus, Erin's dream has grown from a group of eight Citizens in a church, to 90 Citizens on three campuses—plus a wait list of 40. She has also begun another labor

of love—mentoring Brookwood communities across the nation. At press time, BiG Great Lakes has commenced operations in Gurnee, Illinois, and additional BiG licensed models are gearing up in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, and Texas.

BIGGER DREAMS Just outside of Georgetown, a new residential concept is under construction (cover photo) and is the answer to another prayer. Grace Place by BiG is a 127-acre community that, when completed, will consist of four large homes, four medium sized homes, and a village of tiny homes for Citizens to live independently. There will also be safe spaces for Citizens to stay to provide respite for their parents. Knowing there are already 100 families interested in Grace Place daily spurs Luke and Erin to continue building on their current donation level of nearly $10 million and reach their capital campaign goal of $25 million. 

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F EAT URE

GUIDED BY THE GRACE OF THE COMMUNITY

C O VER

The cornerstone of BiG's mission is demonstrating that, when given the freedom to excel, special needs adults can be fully engaged in meaningful work and enjoy the pride of ownership. All of us can appreciate being commissioned for skilled work in a community, and the gratification that we are contributing to society. So BiG is rewriting history every time a Citizen bakes, creates, grows, builds, sculpts, and serves as a valuable member of the greater Georgetown community.

BE A PART OF IT BiG is gearing up for its annual Golf Benefit October 10 at Cimarron Hills Country Club in Georgetown. Every Citizen will be a team captain and each team is asked to raise $10,000 with help from enthusiastic businesses and individuals who will assist in getting the word out to attain this year’s goal of $650,000. On the “BiG” day, Citizens and sponsors will breakfast together before celebrating with a day of noncompetitive golf. BiG wouldn’t be as, well, big as it is today without the dedication of its staff, volunteers, and our generous community. Many are devoted parents, who are grateful to know their children will have a place and be among people who value and watch over them when the parents are gone. With BiG’s Wednesday tours booked for the next four months and customers from near and far coming to dine and shop, there's no missing the magnetism and love that envelops this building, the vibrant vocational community, and the smiling faces of its Citizens.

Businesses and individuals are invited to support the golf benefit to raise money for operating expenses. Visit BrookwoodInGeorgetown.org/golf-benefit-2022 and sponsor a Citizen team today.

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SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE Joni Eareckson Tada, disability rights advocate, created the five stages of disability awareness, a resource shared by churches, schools, and communities that helps to define the spectrum of attitudes that people tend to experience: Ignorance Pity Care Friendship Co-laboring, which sums up encounters as showing respect for each other and allowing ourselves to be teachers, as well as being taught. Erin explains, "The basis of interaction with BiG’s Citizens is via the reverse inclusion model. The Citizens are first set up for success, gaining confidence and happiness in their newfound lives. Next, the community engages with the Citizens in their environment. This social engagement leads to opportunities for all members to learn from each other." SCAN THE CODE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AND WATCH VIDEOS OF BIG'S CITIZENS AND SUCCESS.


SEPTEMBER 2022

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GEO RGET O WN E X P E R I E NCE

K-9 Kerplunk

by Ann Marie Kennon

G

eorgetown Parks and Recreation is preparing for the most energetic party of the year. The Rec Center outdoor pool closed for the season in mid-August, but dog owners are invited to bring up a furry friend to the Community Center for one last day of splash pool fun September 17 from 10am-Noon. The city is able to host up to 100 dogs and their humans to the party because even in late September, Texas water is warm enough for humans who wish to wade in with their fur-babies … up to your knees at most is recommended for everyone’s safety. “We have several active dog parks in Georgetown, so we know we have a lot of dog lovers who enjoy getting together in a safe and happy environment,” Parks & Rec Director Kimberly Garrett says. “Many communities do this after the municipal (human) swim season is over to give dogs a chance for some social time with a splash. We chose the rec center pool because it has a sloped entrance that enables the dogs to walk in and out.” 14

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It is pure joy to see how happy they are in the swim park—on the slides, yapping at waterfalls, and enjoying social time while staying cool. Kimberly also assures that there is no need for concern about the animals’ use of the facility. All Georgetown swim facilities begin a scheduled deep clean and servicing after pools close for the season. The City also invites local organizations and businesses to contribute with food, beverages, and a lot of pet-friendly booths. With support from animal control and several vendors who provide pet products and services, the event has become a regular hit and by all accounts—close to “the happiest place on Earth this side of Disney World.” The event sold out to capacity within days but if you were lucky enough to get a spot, be sure to bring your pet's shot records for admittance. As well, if guests wish to bring children under 16, each must be accompanied by an adult—who is not also supervising a dog—to ensure safety.


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KID S

CELEBRATING A CENTURY OF SCOUTING by Charlotte Kovalchuk photos courtesy of Ryan Roberts

Troop 151 • 1951

I

t's been 100 years and not much has changed for Georgetown Boy Scout Troop 151. “We’re still engaged in the same basic mission to watch these youth grow into an outstanding next generation of people who will lead, not only in our community but our state and country and the world,” Scoutmaster Ryan Roberts says. During the troop’s centennial celebration in August, former U.S. Air Force pilot, retired Delta Airlines captain, and Eagle Scout Jim Miller told the scouts to look around at their future leaders. “You’re not looking at scouts. You’re looking at future congressmen, scout leaders, doctors, and lawyers. You don’t know who they’ll turn out to be, but you’re looking at trustworthiness and excellence. We have a problem in this country. Many people don’t know the right thing to do. Scouts, you set an example. You’re helping this country get better.”

Scouts and scout leaders know leadership starts by making a difference in their own backyards, whether it's improving playgrounds at local elementary schools, lending a hand at community events, or restoring church buildings. 18

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And it’s not just the community that has been impacted by this youth organization. “When you watch these kids, they are fairly timid and unsure of themselves,” Ryan says. “Within four to five years, they’re confident and ready to go out to meet the challenges they’re destined to face.”

That confidence was on full display at the troop’s 100th anniversary party at the Sun City Ballroom, where hundreds of scouts, leaders, volunteers, family, and friends got to hear from these young men about how they have been impacted by the organization. “Whenever I’ve had things going on in my life, or started down a wrong path, what has always centered me and brought me together again is

scouting,” Michael Boyd said, with Jay Crawford adding, “This is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Thank you to everyone who inspired me to become a better person.”

YOUTHFUL INTEGRITY Ryan’s son Trevor Roberts has also enjoyed the rewards of character building and adapting a moral code since becoming a scout in 2016. Now a high school senior and Eagle Scout, he is proud to stand out as one of only 500 Scouts in history who have completed all 138 merit badges. He committed to learning about veterinary medicine and oceanography, going on whitewater rafting and scuba diving adventures, and learning how to bugle, among others. He says the last six years have been a life-changing experience with a rewarding payoff. “It’s like nothing else. You just don’t realize how big of an achievement it is until you finish it,” he says. “It’s not only a feeling of relief from the grind, it’s the feeling that I’ve done something only a few hundred people in history have done. You get an inventory of who you really are and how much you can actually do.” That merit badge journey has been just as much of an adventure


KID S

GEORGETOWN TROOP 151 for the rest of Troop 151 and its leaders, who reminisced during a fireside chat at the event—from stunning nature views to countless mishaps resulting in fires or destroyed equipment. Every high and low served to strengthen the bonds between scouts. “I still have friendships today that I made in the Boy Scouts,” Congressman John Carter (facing page) said. “The friendships you make in the Boy Scouts will last you forever.”

THE NEXT 100 YEARS Despite pandemic challenges and a dip in Boy Scout participation across the nation, Troop 151 has remained strong, increasing in numbers the last few years while continuing to give back to the Georgetown community. “It’s not just about us adults. The youth have pushed us to make sure we’ve come out of this pandemic and come out of some of these hardships stronger than when we went into it,” Ryan says. “I see a lot of momentum going into the next century. I see a sense of wanting not only to continue the tradition of the last hundred years, but to build upon their legacy.”

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H

Volunteering off site also allows her to get to know them better since she usually has just one or two cats. One in particular, Geri, recently stole her heart. “I would never have guessed she was a lap cat. She was really standoffish and now she’s one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever known. It’s amazing to see them transform when given the chance.”

SAGE Sofia “Sage” Sanchez has experienced all of these things as one of several student volunteers who enjoyed much of their summer vacation, and the new school year so far, at the shelter. She and her mom Anne began lending a hand once a week after an unsuccessful attempt to add another dog to their family. “This was a way to be able to love on other dogs as well as get her volunteer hours for school,” Anne says. At 16 years old, Sage can volunteer on her own but enjoys the quality time with her mom. The two do “anything that needs to be done—dog walks, laundry, or dishes. The shelter is really short on not just staff but volunteers as well, and there are a lot of animals to take care of,” Sage says. “I really like getting to know all the dogs and knowing I helped in some way.”

MADI Madi Clark, 13, and her mom Nicole Immer also enjoy donating their time as often as they can, feeding and cuddling cats and cleaning kennels. “I really enjoy working with the cats that are more anxious—helping them socialize and learn to be comfortable around people,” Madi says. Both love being able to watch pets’ journeys from the nervous moment when they arrive to when they leave excited about their new families. “It’s sad to see them go, but I have to remind myself it’s a good thing,” Nicole says.

JESSICA Jessica Rodriguez (pictured) appreciates the chance to follow the animals' adventures. “I love when a cat is adopted and months down the line, the adopter sends us a picture and shows us how well they’re doing. That means everything to me,” the 11th grader says. Some22

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by Charlotte Kovalchuk photo courtesy April Peiffer

thing of a cat whisperer, she uses her abilities to read feline body language and handle more difficult cats at off-site adoption events at PetSmart and Tomlinson’s Feed.

elping cats and dogs come out of their shells, giving extra love to those overlooked due to health problems, resisting the temptation to adopt every pet, watching favorite furry friends find forever homes—volunteering at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is both rewarding and bittersweet.

S H ELT ER

S T O RIES

Time, Talent, and Heart

HAVE A HEART FOR HELPING? Volunteer opportunities abound at the shelter and one of them is bound to be in your wheelhouse: walk dogs socialize dogs and cats foster, cleaning, laundry, administrative tasks work at off-site events help with photography and videos of shelter animals assisting with special projects; e.g., assembling shelves and research data entry The shelter’s flexible volunteer program allows students to help out on their own schedules, either after school or on weekends. Students interested in going into veterinary careers can gain experience by shadowing the shelter’s medical team. Community Programs Coordinator April Peiffer says, “Volunteering in any capacity is a rewarding experience. It takes you out of your own world for a brief period and places you into a situation in which you can give back. This can be a cathartic experience for anyone.” She adds, “School can be stressful, and what better way to reduce that stress than playing with some puppies and kitties?” Scan the code to learn more about the program and sign up to volunteer.


Let Your Pet Be Our Guest!

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THR I V ING A FTER 55

GIVING BACK IN THE BACKCOUNTRY by Cassidie Cox photos courtesy Sun City Rod and Gun Club

What if you could give back to the community by enjoying your favorite hobby?

T

he Rod and Gun Club has been a point of pride for residents of Sun City for many years. Originally named the Hunting and Fishing Club, the outdoorsy organization was founded when a few members of the Sun City Nature Club decided to diversify and create a group just for hunting and fishing enthusiasts. The club was renamed to include members who enjoy sport shooting as well. Today, with 595 members, it is one of the largest clubs in all of Sun City. Members meet monthly to listen to speakers, discuss their interests, and share information about safety. Club President Andy Attaway says the members take their position in the community very seriously and part of their mission is to share their passions with the local community and surrounding areas.

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Club Impact Club members provide funds to stock several ponds in Sun City, which are open to the public who wish to fish them. Members also volunteer at Opportunities for Williamson & Burnet Counties' annual sporting clay shoot fundraiser. OWBC is a community action group that oversees Meals on Wheels, child education, and financial assistance for both counties. One of its recent fundraisers garnered more than $200,000. OWBC Director of Development Dori Yeater says, “Any group that chooses to raise funds via a clay shoot would do well to reach out to the Rod and Gun Club for their expertise and their passion for the sport.” The Rod and Gun Club also supports Imagine A Way, which helps families find therapy for children on the autism spectrum. Club Vice President Steve Buehler says of his experience volunteering, “It’s an easy way for [members] to give back to the community…All it takes is our time.” Membership is open to all Sun City residents who enjoy these activities regardless of skill level. Scan the code for more information.


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AD VER T O RIAL

1 IDEA + 2 BUSINESS MEN = NEW AREA SCHOOL

J

immy Coffman and Robert Hilton never planned to build a new school. But Jimmy, a certified financial planner and Robert, owner of R. Hilton Insurance Agency, met at church and sometimes discussed the topic of education informally. They soon discovered they shared a passion for classical education. Jimmy remembered being very impressed with a group of young people he met through a previous church, and Robert’s wife, Claire, home-schooled their three children using the classical curriculum. With the nearest classical charter school located in Leander, they decided to hold information sessions to see if their idea was viable in Georgetown. To date, 120 area families have expressed interest and they are well on their way to their goal of 300 families. If all goes as planned, the San Gabriel Classical Charter School could open as early the fall of 2023, and certainly by the fall of 2024.

WHAT ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS? Charter schools give parents the option of enrolling their children in schools other than their assigned district public school. They are publicly funded so they are tuition free, but they are privately run, allowing for more innovation and flexibility in their curriculum. The long tradition of the classical model encompasses the study of liberal arts, classic literature, Latin, and other foreign languages. According to Classical Academic Press, what makes classical education so effective is its approach to how and when students are taught. Children learn in three phases or stages— grammar, logic and rhetoric: In the grammar stage (K–6), students are naturally adept at memorizing through songs, chants, and rhymes, which they tend to remember for a lifetime.

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In the logic stage (grades 7–9), teen aged students begin to question authority and facts. They want to know the “why” of something. Students learn reasoning, informal and formal logic, and how to argue with wisdom and eloquence. The rhetoric stage (grades 10–12) is naturally when students become independent thinkers and communicators. They study and practice rhetoric, which is the art of persuasive speaking and effective writing.

MAKING IT REALITY Jimmy and Robert have decided their best course of action will be to contract with a charter school operator, who already has all the protocols in place. Though they plan to stay involved until their dream comes to fruition, the unassuming duo plan to step back over time and let the professionals run the school. As well, Jimmy and Robert will not receive any financial gain from this project. It is a labor of love and a gift to their Georgetown community. Scan the code to learn more and save the date for their next information session: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 7pm- Grace Bible Church, 2100 Shell Road.


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EXP ER T

WILDFIRES 101

AS K

T H E

by Charlotte Kovalchuk photos courtesy Georgetown FD

Absolutely, without a doubt, this has been one of the driest seasons we’ve had in the last 10 years.” ~ Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan

F

aced with a wildfire that started near Lake Georgetown and quickly spread west, Georgetown and Liberty Hill fire departments worked together to fight the blaze that consumed 445 acres in July during one of the driest seasons Williamson County has seen in years. And they weren’t alone—22 other agencies joined forces with the two city responders in the statewide effort.

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The San Gabriel fire originated on the south side of the lake off Tower Road and took firefighters five days to extinguish due to the large area, rough terrain, and heavy vegetation. Fire departments from Leander, Round Rock, Jarrell, Cedar Park, and Hutto joined the effort, as well as area police departments, Williamson County’s sheriff’s office and EMS, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. “We were very fortunate with the support that

came in on that fire,” Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan says. “Liberty Hill was where it originated, but fire knows no geographic boundaries. It doesn’t stop at the city border. It’s important to work collaboratively and collectively, because it outpaces and outscales the resources any one department has.”


AS K T H E EXP ER T

WILDFIRE PREVENTION Dry and windy conditions combined with everyday activities like backyard barbecues, burn pits, and spark-enhancing metal work are breeding grounds for wildfires, Chief Sullivan says. The San Gabriel fire was caused by sparks from a resident doing metal work, so he urges caution when it comes to these types of activities. “It sounds overly simple, but be aware that things are dry and be conscious of things that are hot or have the potential to cause sparks.” Residents can take the following precautions to reduce the risk of wildfires: BE A RESPONSIBLE DRIVER: While it’s never a good time to litter, it’s especially important to avoid right now. “It’s especially horrible right now when people are discarding cigarettes on the highway. They think it’s not a big deal, but it’s precisely why we’re responding to grass fires on the freeway,” Chief Sullivan says. Drivers should also be aware of potential fire hazards created by vehicle problems. “It can happen innocently—a blown or flat tire and somebody has to pull off to the side of the road. They’ve got a hot vehicle and the grass is high. The way to mitigate a possible fire is to be hyper vigilant about your car being hot enough to cause sparks.” MAINTAIN YOUR HOME: Maintaining vegetation around one’s home is key to reducing the risk of wildfires. “The taller the grass is, the bigger the fire gets and farther it can travel,” Chief Sullivan says. In addition to keeping lawns mowed and trees and bushes trimmed, homeowners should reduce

vegetation and backyard debris near their homes. “If you’re barbecuing in the backyard, the grass can catch fire, and if you have debris in your backyard like wood logs or a burn pit—that can catch fire, then you find your house on fire. People underestimate how quickly a fire can spread.” DON’T BURN OUTDOORS: In June, Williamson County commissioners issued a 90-day burn ban. The ban prohibits burning combustible material outside of an enclosure; yard waste such as leaves, grass, brush, and other yard trimmings, or burning to clear land of trees, stumps, shrubbery, and other vegetation. The order urges caution when it comes to outdoor welding, cutting, or grinding, including ensuring the metal work area is free of vegetation, notifying the local fire department of planned metal work, having a fire extinguisher nearby, and inviting another person to be on the lookout for sparks that could cause a fire. Websites with information on what to do regarding wildfires: Scan the code to visit CalFire Ready for Wildfires, which share information about creating defensible space zones around your house. Firewise USA (NFPA. org) has more tips on reducing wildfire risks and how other Georgetown communities can join Sun City as a Firewise site.

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AR T S

So Much is New at the GTX Film Festival by Ann Marie Kennon photo by Lisa Welch

GTX Film Festival Board: David Valdez, Cindy Weigand, Lorraine Brady, Beth Baker, Williamson County Museum Director Nancy Hill, Roxanne Coyne, Charlene Grant

WHAT'S NEW?

W

hile the GTX FILM FESTIVAL has always been about drama, with these marketing geniuses and cinephiles (above) pulling it all together, the event runs like a well oiled machine. This year, due to a move, festival founder Cindy Weigand turned the reins over to a new executive director, Beth Baker. Cindy says Beth was the first and only name on the list and she is already taking things in new and exciting directions. Beth, who has been producing live events for many years, says she was very flattered to be asked and is excited about this new challenge. "Cindy assembled a brilliant and talented staff who understand the film industry. It was easy to step into the flow and fold my experience running my own non-profit to show people what the Georgetown art community has to offer. I'm looking forward to the festival October 1, and it is my mission to grow this into a two to three day event that will bring ever greater numbers of filmmakers and fans to Georgetown."

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In addition to the documentary "Cowboys," which sold out at the Palace Theater last month, this year's festival is all in person, and features 100 films in seven categories, including foreign films from 14 countries. All winners will be announced at the festival and the foreign film winner will be screened online Friday until Sunday at midnight at gtxfilm.org. Even more than the global flavor of the entertainment, Beth was thrilled to relocate the festival and make the Doug Smith Performance Center the focal point of the festival. "It's a beautiful facility with state of the art equipment, which will really enhance the experience. We will be showing films from 10am to 7:30pm and everyone who purchases a $30 wristband can stop in the center at any time all day to watch films. Between showings, it's just a short walk to the Square to enjoy dining, shopping, and the best the Square has to offer. It is a great opportunity to show off our cultural district and bring a whole new tourist demographic to the most beautiful town square in Texas." She adds a rec-

ommendation to check the festival website this month to get updates on retailers and restaurants on the Square that may be offering festival specials all day.

THE FESTIVAL Tickets and schedule of screenings are available on the website. Beth recommends purchasing tickets soon as they are sure to sell out. Those with wristbands may walk in and out all day and there are still opportunities for sponsors and partnerships (bethbaker.gtxfilm@gmail. com). Board members are eager to welcome filmmakers to Georgetown to enjoy the show with prominent arts patrons like Sun City's Carolyn Holloway, who purchased the very first ticket. Carolyn says, "It's always been a dream of mine for Georgetown to be an arts mecca, and film was the missing piece. It is wonderful to have that hole filled with the best Central Texas—and the world— have to offer."


Come to the After Party Every $30 ticket purchased includes an invitation and admittance to the film awards ceremony at the Smith Center at 7:30pm. Winners will be announced in all categories and there will be a reception immediately following and attendees will get to meet producers, directors, and actors from the featured films. Scan the code to purchase your ticket and wristband.

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T RANS F O RM AT ION

S P O N S O R E D

C O N T E N T

TITLE INSURANCE 101

T

o home buyers already overwhelmed with closing documents, title insurance can seem like a foreign language. Clint Fagan, an attorney with Transformation Title & Escrow, explains the fundamentals of title insurance and why the policy is essential to a worry-free home buying process. Unlike other types of insurance that protect buyers against future occurrences, title insurance protects against past events. “Specifically, title insurance protects the buyer against loss resulting from previously unreported land title defects covered by the policy, such as forgeries, claims by missing heirs, recording errors, etc.,” Clint says.

PROPERTY TITLE DEFECTS CAN INCLUDE... A homeowner adding on home improvements, like a pool, and failing to pay the contractor. The contractor can then file a claim against the property, and that claim must be paid before the lien is released. A homeowner not paying real estate taxes, causing the taxing authority to file a lien on the home. The taxes must be paid before the lien is released. The previous owner incorrectly stating his or her marital status, resulting in a possible claim by a legal spouse. Title insurance protects against these issues, whether they come up during the closing process or afterwards. “If a claim is made against your property, title insurance

will, in accordance with the terms of your policy, assure you of a legal defense—and pay all court costs and related fees,” Clint says, adding that “if the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.”

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TITLE AND HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE? Homeowner’s insurance protects against fire, weather, theft, and any other kind of property damage or loss. Title insurance insures the buyer against losses from unreported issues that happened before they bought the property. The buyer pays the one-time title insurance premium when they close and pays their homeowner's premium each year.

IS A TITLE COMMITMENT ENOUGH FOR MY CLOSING? No. A title commitment is the underwriting portion of the title insurance policy. It is the examination done, usually by an attorney, to uncover all the defects. “The title commitment is the foundation for the title policy and you can’t have one without the other,” Clint says. 38

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D RIVE T H E WO R T H

Underground Adventures On the Texas Cave Trail

A

nimals from the Ice Age. Ancient formations still in the making. A zipline providing hill country views at one cave and underground concerts delighting at another. Tales of a cavern once serving as an outlaw hideout and Prohibition-era speakeasy. All are just a few of the wonders and legends of five hidden worlds that make up the Texas Cave Trail.

Caverns of Sonora “The beauty of the Caverns of Sonora cannot be exaggerated, not even by a Texan.” That’s how National Speleological Society founder Bill Stephenson describes the cave almost completely covered by formations—from cave coral trees to gravity-defying helictites that grow in any direction. In addition to touring the caverns in Sonora, visitors can pan for gemstones as well as camp on the ranch grounds.

Cave Without a Name Before the cave opened to the public in 1939, owners held a contest to name the underground gem in Boerne. The winner was a local student who said it should be called Cave Without a Name because it was “too pretty to have a name.” A quarter-mile tour takes visitors on a journey through the cave filled with rimstone pools, a “Frozen Waterfall” flowstone formation, and cave bacon. Monthly concerts, mostly classical but sometimes folk music, are held in the Queen’s Throne Room, which is large enough to seat 200 people. by Charlotte Kovalchuk photos TexasCaveTrail.com

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Inner Space Cavern Georgetown’s own jewel, Inner Space Cavern, draws nostalgic visitors and curious newcomers alike. “You wouldn’t believe the number of people who say, ‘I came here as a child on a field trip, and I want my child to experience that,’ or ‘I’ve been driving by this place for 30 years and I finally decided to stop by,’ ” geologist Patty Perlaky says.


WO R T H T H E D RIVE

In addition to awe-inspiring formations, Inner Space features prehistoric animal bones and a wall depicting a mammoth, saber-toothed tiger, and “other Ice Age movie animals,” Patty says. The Saber Tooth Zip Ride also provides visitors with a view of the hill country from 130 feet in the air. Manager Taunya Vessels still marvels that the cavern would never have been discovered if not for a crew accidentally drilling into the cavern during construction of I-35 in 1963. “It is something beautiful you don’t even know you are driving over as you travel the interstate.”

Longhorn Cavern Developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Longhorn Cavern is unique in that it was formed by underground rivers rather than by water sinking through the earth. During its history, the Burnet cavern served as a Comanche Indian council site, 1920s speakeasy, hideout for outlaws like Sam Bass, and place for the Confederate Army to manufacture gunpowder. Visitors can also enjoy hiking and picnicking at the Longhorn Cavern State Park plus camping, boating, and other outdoor fun at the nearby Inks Lake State Park.

Natural Bridge Caverns Four college students had a hunch that large underground passages lay beneath a limestone bridge in San Antonio and discovered the largest cave in Texas, now known as Natural Bridge Caverns (above), in 1960. Today, visitors can embark on an adventure 180 feet down where ancient formations still in the making include flowstones, chandeliers, soda straws, and stalactites. Above ground, they can find their way through an outdoor maze, pan for treasure, test their agility on a ropes course and zip rails, and enjoy live music every weekend.

PLANNING YOUR TRIP Texas is home to thousands of caves, seven of which are commercial; i.e., show caves, and five participate in the Texas Cave Trail. Visitors can scan the code to visit the website, review the trail maps, and print a passport or pick one up at any of the participating caves. Each visit earns another stamp and at the last cave, staff will exchange a completed passport for a free T-shirt. Passport stamps must be collected within one year of the first cave visit to receive the shirt. From beginner-friendly tours to wild, off-path ones, the Texas Cave Trail offers excursions for caving enthusiasts of all skill levels. The climate in the caves is about 70 degrees year round, with tours averaging from one to four hours. While walk-in tours are available at some caves, others require reservations, so visitors are encouraged to check out the cave’s website before making a trip. Cave goers can look forward to spending at least a few days enjoying the trail experience.

Thousands of years in the making, Texas' underground worlds await explorers, whether it’s during a weekend trip or a year-long journey.

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H AB IT S H EALT H Y

Ketamine Connections

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE WELLNESS

D

epression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. In fact, more than 16 million suffer from depression in America alone. Sadly, statistics show onethird of those who try standard antidepressants do not respond to treatment and remain depressed.

EMOTIONAL REGULATION Some researchers believe depression can occur when chronic stress causes certain neurons to die. The synapses (connections) between those neurons in the brain play a role in how we learn and respond to our environment so the cell death reduces the number of pathways the brain can use to respond to specific stimuli. This is one reason patients find themselves unable to break patterns of negative emotions or behavior.

Ketamine causes neurons to re-grow within hours, relieving depressive symptoms. While standard antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin act on single monoamine neurotransmitters— dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin—Ketamine affects the brain in a completely different way. It acts on glutamate—the most prominent chemical messenger in a healthy brain. Glutamate affects the brain’s neuroplasticity and helps regulate emotions and cognitive thoughts. Glutamate also strengthens and promotes new neural connections in the brain. By activating certain neurotransmitter receptors and pathways, which then trigger rapid growth of new neurological connections and enable the patient to create new, healthier responses.

SPO N SO RE D

CO N T E N T

K E TA M I N E S T I M U L AT E S G R O W T H A N D R E G R O W T H O F N E U R OT R A N S M I T T E R S I N T H E B R A I N , E S S E N T I A L LY R E W R I T I N G T H E PA R T S O F T H E B R A I N C AU S I N G D I S T R E S S .

WHAT IS NEUROPLASTICITY? Animal studies reveal Ketamine disconnects many synapses within minutes of administration, and the affected neurons create new synapses over a period of hours or days. In effect, repeated administration of Ketamine therapy virtually sweeps out your old ways of thinking and replaces them with new ones. This is neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli by reorganizing its structure, functions, or connections. It occurs when we learn, experience, and create memories, or as a result of damage to the brain.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON KETAMINE Most patients at reKonnect Wellness clinic for depression have tried standard treatments with no relief from their debilitating symptoms. Typical treatments include standard antidepressants, talk therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and electroshock therapy. Many see Ketamine therapy as their last opportunity to find relief. The reKonnect professionals have found more than 70 percent of patients who undergo Ketamine therapy find real, lasting relief from their symptoms. They are able to experience happiness again because the burdens they carry have become lighter and more manageable. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, they may be able to help. Staff have convenient appointments available six days a week to get you started on your Ketamine journey quickly. Scan the code for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

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WHAT MAKES TEXAS “TEXAS”? by Charlotte Kovalchuk

DANCE HALLS O

n any given Saturday evening, dance halls across Texas come alive as folks gather to two-step the night away, boots shuffling across worn wood floors that emit nostalgic honky-tonk charm. Just what makes these dance halls a Lone Star tradition? “In one word, I would say community,” says Jake Dromgoole, interim director of Texas Dance Hall Preservation. “There are many dance halls around the state, and a lot of them were built as community gathering spaces that happened to have dances.” The first Texas dance halls were built in the early 19th century by German, Czech, Polish, Tejano, and African American settlers. In 1836, after Texas won its independence from Mexico, immigrants continued to bring the latest steps with them and added new flavors to the Texas dance scene, including jigs, polkas, waltzes, and schottisches. While these halls have evolved from social gathering and multi-use community centers to primarily

dance hubs, many still function, especially in rural areas, as a place for local events and celebrations—from barbecues to family reunions to graduation parties. Some operate as commercial businesses for the 21-and-up crowd, while others are owned by the community and run by volunteers who welcome all ages to their family friendly halls. All of them “have their own personalities and stories to tell,” says Deb Fleming, outreach coordinator for Texas Dance Hall Preservation. At their peak, it is estimated that more than 1,000 dance halls existed in Texas, but many have been lost over time to highway construction, lack of consistent use, fires, weather-related incidents, or COVID. Since 2007, Texas Dance Hall Preservation has worked to save these historic places and the culture and music still found within their walls. “It’s rooted in our history as Texans just like the Alamo,” Deb says. The nonprofit provided $262,000 in COVID relief grants to 32 dance halls,


WH AT

IMAGE CREDIT: GRUENEHALL.COM

GRUENE HALL: Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is billed as Texas’ oldest dance hall and was built by first generation German immigrant Henry (Heinrich) D. Gruene in the German farming community of Gruene, now part of New Braunfels. Gruene (pronounced Green) has been recognized as a tourist destination and music venue for established and up-and-coming artists, as well as a proving ground for former new talents like George Strait, Hal Ketchum and Lyle Lovett. TWIN SISTERS DANCE HALL: Twin Sisters was built by German immigrants in the 1880s and, outside of recent pandemic conditions, held a public dance on the first Saturday of every month ever since. This volunteer-run dance hall in Blanco serves as a community center for great music and dancing and in recent years has hosted gatherings like its annual Raise the Roof event in September and Fiddle Festival in early December. BROKEN SPOKE: Any two-stepper near Austin has likely heard of this storied dance hall on South Lamar Boulevard that has welcomed music legends to its stage such as George Strait, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton. Good ol' honky tonk music and a full bar keeps folks coming back week after week for many of the regular bands who rotate on the schedule Tuesday through Saturday night, and dance lessons are offered before most dances for those who need a refresher. SAENGERRUNDE HALL: In 1852, German settlers in Austin formed a singing society that became known as Saengerrunde. Their favorite meeting place was Scholz Garden, a local restaurant and

beer garden, dance hall, and bowling alley. Today, the venue serves as an event venue with annual festivals and holiday celebrations, including an Oktoberfest dinner and dance September 24.

" T E X A S " ?

IMAGE CREDIT: FACEBOOK / BROKENSPOKE

T EXA S

While you can find dance halls all over the state, “Central Texas is where the majority of the dance hall action is at,” Deb says. Grab your boots and plan your next night out at one of these historic dance halls.

M AKES

which kept them afloat during pandemic shutdowns. “These places tell a story about the communities and the people who came to find a better life for themselves and struggled to make a life there. The culture of Texas is a patchwork of all these ethnic groups that came here and became the melting pot that is now Texas.”

ANHALT HALL: With an enormous dance floor that can fit hundreds of two-steppers, Anhalt Hall was truly built for dancing and as some of the vintage signs will warn, no standing on the dance floor! All ages are welcome at the hall, and children 12 and under get in free. The next Anhalt dance is September 17 at 2390 Anhalt Road in Spring Branch, located on Highway 46 between Boerne and New Braunfels. SISTERDALE DANCE HALL & OPERA HOUSE: In its early years, the Sisterdale Dance Hall & Opera House operated as an opera house and community center and later became a dance hall, community grocery store, and post office. The dance hall near Boerne was the center of musical life for the community, with tunes of all kinds flooding the hall, including classical opera, folk, rock, Tejano, Americana, and country music. The hall came under new ownership in 2009 and after being closed for a few decades was brought back to life shortly after, first with public dances on weekends and now as a full-time wedding and special event venue. Scan the code to visit the Texas dance hall map and plan your next Saturday night out.

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H EALT H

by Cassidie Cox

Healthy is Beautiful

AND

T

B E AU T Y

he awareness of our need for self care—the process of taking care of oneself with behaviors that promote health, and active management of illness when it occurs—has grown conspicuously in recent years. Not surprisingly, self care practices are as individual as the many who embrace it, from boundary setting and positive thinking to a weekly trip to the spa. While, technically, spa and beauty treatments are just one piece of the self care pie, looking and feeling healthy are an important part of our overall emotional wellness.

B L OW D RY BA R S For many, being pampered at a hair salon is a fun way to relax and try new looks. While this has traditionally meant everything from clips to dyes, today you have the option to get the movie star treatment and have your hair washed and professionally styled at trendy new blow dry bars. For those special days or

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events when you want to explore a new style without committing to a cut, visiting a blow dry bar is the perfect opportunity to experiment. It is also a great social experience—trying new styles with friends or family knowing that if you don't like the results, your original hair is just one shampoo away.

HEALTH BENEFITS Stylists add that blow dry bars are actually a healthy way to manage hair. When someone else holds the dryer, he or she can control the distance from your hair so all sections are dried equally with no burning. Professionals also know how much tension and pressure to apply with their round brush to manipulate each section and smoothly transform hair into a finished look without having to use an iron. It is also important to note blowouts are made to last. They may add a little dry shampoo to absorb oils and the drying will provide lift to keep oils from weighing


B EAUT Y

IV THERAPY

Plus, investing in some stress relieving time for yourself is important to your overall health. Many stylists provide a comforting, therapeutic scalp massage with each shampoo session so treat yourself and add a 10-minute scalp massage for some extra TLC.

H EALT H

Blow dry bars can be great time savers. Instead of rolling out of bed on a milestone day or for an important meeting with frazzled hair, you’ll have a style that lasts for several days. So if you have a couple of days of formal activities, this may be a great option for you.

AND

If you're looking for internal self care, IV infusion therapy is a modern twist on traditional medical treatments. Newly available in clinics or via concierge services, IV infusion is helpful for certain health conditions, promotes better heart health, and delivers vitamins and nutrients to the body with great efficiency.

down strands quickly, which means less daily styling and less heat to the hair. This means fewer split ends in the long run.

Typically, IV (intravenous) therapy is only provided in an EMS or hospital setting for those suffering from extreme dehydration, critical injury, or illness. But infusion is also helpful in re hydrating for athletic performance recovery and immune system support. Re hydration also provides relief from hangovers, cold and flu, pregnancy symptoms, migraines, and headaches. IV therapy has also been shown to boost the body's immune response by detoxifying the digestive system. This swift diffusion of vitamins may even soften the signs of aging and help patients maintain a healthy weight.

WHAT'S IN THAT? The specific components in the bag vary according to the needs of the patient and dosages are at the discretion of the healthcare provider. Customarily, the fluid is composed of saline solution, healthy sugars, vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium. The majority of these are found in fruits and leafy vegetables, but IV therapy bypasses the digestive breakdown and provides quick abatement for those who need an extra boost of one or all of them. When getting IV therapy, providers suggest these helpful reminders: Clients should be prepared to rest quietly for the duration of the treatment. The site of the injection may become bruised and post-op care is needed to ensure healing. Soreness is possible around the area of the injection site.

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H EALT H AND B E AU T Y L I V I N G AT T H E G Y M When it comes to boosting confidence and combating aging through exercise, the key is finding a physical activity that’s right for you—one that is safe, challenging, and enjoyable enough to ensure you'll stick with it. Studies have shown that people who work out regularly have less visceral fat—the type that accumulates around organs and leads to health problems—than those who don't. Working out regularly will not only help you reduce the appearance of fat and maintain your weight, but it also builds muscles, which helps the body maintain better posture. Exercise is also one of the best ways to improve the appearance of skin because it stimulates blood flow, which helps clear away dead skin cells, bacteria, toxins, dirt, and oil that can clog pores. Working out also releases endorphins, which boost mood, improve sleep, and strengthen bones. For those who do not enjoy participating in team sports, commuting regularly to a gym, or paying for expensive programs, a home gym is a conve-

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nient and customizable solution. Jarrell newlyweds Dillon Ivey and Alejandra Donoso came up with a way to save time and money on your health goals. CTX Home Gyms' (ctxhomegyms.com) creative solution is buying and selling used and refurbished gym equipment—free weights, benches, cardio machines, and more, for much less than the cost of new equipment or even a membership. Now, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of professional equipment on a daily basis without leaving the comfort of your home. For those who are not confident in their workout techniques, it may help to add one more piece of 'equipment' to the mix—a smart television or computer monitor. Still a growing trend since the 2020 lockdowns, there are dozens of free workouts available to download or stream to keep you on track and accountable to your goals. Just a few: app.fitonapp.com/program obefitness.com muscleandstrength.com


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P O P P Y TA L K S

N

UFOs are Real

o, Poppy hasn't lost her mind. I am just lamenting—in an exaggerated way—the professional curse of caring about exegetics and language; basically being an old-school English major in an Internet world. To start, can we agree that the title of my column is 100 percent accurate. Why? Because a UFO is, literally, an unidentified flying object and not necessarily an extraterrestrial spacecraft, despite all the 20th century debate over fuzzy photos and YouTube conspiracies. Humans have been seeing objects they couldn't identify for thousands of years. Perhaps they were merely rogue weather balloons or rabid turkey-vultures, but let’s just agree to call a thing what it is and move on. I would also like to point out the irony that if or when we confirm our first alien spacecraft, it will cease to be a UFO because we will have identified what it is. Just saying. A friend recently shared this profound thought with me; when you watch a teenager texting 40 words a minute, you have to completely re-think the expression “all thumbs.” I agree. I will likely need carpal tunnel surgery on my hands soon because I wasn’t raised to type that way. Recent life events have made me realize my million-dollar business is just around the corner and is loosely based simply on what I call it. I may make stuffed animals from dryer lint, or perhaps I’ll open a restaurant that only sells yellow food. Don’t worry… I’m just going to put the word “For School” in front of every item and jack up all my prices 300 percent. Apparently student is the most expensive thing a person can be in life, except perhaps a bride. See?... words matter. Two months ago I bought a birthday cake for 50 people at Walmart for $48. The bridal cake I served at my wedding started at $7 per slice and neither of them looked anything like the picture I sent. Despite the price difference, both were what the Internet lovingly calls a "fail."

more than a million or even more than one hundred, but seriously… more than seven…? You can’t just say eight, or ten? I hope the manufacturer is better at chemistry than statistics. News people aren’t much better. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “Over 34 representatives have voted…” Soooo, 35? And you get paid to say words? My other favorite is, “Do not take [this drug] if you are allergic to [this drug] or any of its ingredients.” Really, Dr. Obvious? And I was so hoping to spend the day in the E.R. with an epi-pen. Also, don’t pet wild bears or stick forks into sockets. Right... got it. I'm sure I'll get an angry comment or letter about my semantic snobbery. The first time I mentioned UFOs in print, a person who didn't bother to actually read the column wrote in to tell me how wrong I was about aliens. So when I get those I visit websites that collect dumb things people say on Twitter, and my confidence returns. Meanwhile, I'm going to go make myself some synonym roles just like you're Grammar used to make, then spend the rest of the day posting memes like this...

I have my television on a lot for background noise while I’m working. Right now there is a commercial touting the wonderful benefits of the latest miracle drug. I don’t remember anything about it other than the unnecessarily dramatic claim that “this has been proven in over seven clinical trials”. Now, I can understand if you did SE P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2

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F O OD

Beauty Foods Kiwi and Quinoa Salad Kiwifruit may not come in an attractive package but it is loaded with nutrients that may help prevent skin aging. It contains more vitamin C than oranges, which acts as a powerful antioxidant. These defend against skin degradation and the carotenoid lutein, which protects skin from UV light. This recipe has plenty of flavor and is even gluten-free. • 1/2 cup (100g) white quinoa, rinsed • 2 kiwifruit, peeled, coarsely chopped • 1 shallot, cut into thin wedges • 1/4 cup (35g) dried cranberries • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves • 60g feta, crumbled The beauty industry would have you believe

• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

great skin comes from fancy creams, fish toxins, and high-tech things you do at the spa. Sure, good quality and toxin-free topical products or treatments can definitely help, but glowing, healthy, and clear skin really begins from within. These recipes include superfood ingredients that pack a ton of health benefits can be fun and delicious.

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Cook quinoa following packet directions. Drain. Rinse under running cold water. Transfer to a bowl. Add kiwifruit , shallot , cranberries , parsley and feta and toss to combine. Combine the oil , vinegar and ginger in a small bowl. Pour over the salad and toss to combine.


Adding beta-carotene starches to your diet can combat a dull complexion. Vitamins A & C are a skin-brightening combo that work to neutralize cell tissue-damaging free radicals. Salmon and sweet potatoes are also full of biotin, which stimulates hair and nail growth. • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 1 c) • 3 (6-oz) skinless salmon fillets • 1 quart (4 c) chicken broth • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste • 1 T Old Bay or seafood seasoning • 1-1/2 c whole wheat crackers, crushed into crumbs • 1 large egg, lightly beaten • 1 T finely chopped fresh thyme leaves • 1 tsp hot sauce • 2 scallions or green onions, finely chopped • 1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil Bring broth to a boil in a large skillet or pot over high heat; reduce to a simmer.

F O O D

Salmon and Sweet Potato Cakes

Season salmon fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Carefully lower them down into the liquid, making sure they are submerged. Poach until salmon is opaque, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salmon to a mixing bowl and flake the fish with a fork. Add in the mashed sweet potatoes, seafood seasoning, half of the cracker crumbs, the egg, thyme, hot sauce, scallions, and parsley. Using your hands or a fork, combine until the mixture is firm enough to mold into cakes. (If too wet, add more cracker crumbs.) Add remaining cracker crumbs to a plate. Form salmon mixture into four (4-inch) patties or eight (2-inch) patties and coat in the cracker crumbs on both sides. Discard liquid from skillet and wipe clean. In that same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmery. Cook the fish cakes until light golden, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve with tartar sauce for dipping or on buns with cheese on top, like a burger.

Edible Face Masks Coffee is not just to wake up in the morning. Exfoliate skin with coffee grounds to help unclog pores, scrub away dead skin cells, reduce inflammation, and protect against certain types of bacteria.

For a super deep clean, try mixing equal parts Aztec clay and apple cider vinegar for a mud mask that cleanses and smooths skin. Allow the mask to harden before washing it away with warm water. This mask recipe has a proven track record—even Cleopatra used it.

Face masks are great for our skin but buying them can get expensive. These all-natural recipes will improve your skin without breaking your bank.

Be sure to prep beforehand by washing your face to remove makeup, oil, or dirt. After removing the mask with warm water, be sure to moisturize to seal in the goodness of the mask.

� To brighten skin and prevent inflammation, mix one teaspoon of turmeric with one tablespoon of honey, apply to the face, and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Local honey is recommended, where available; it can shorten the length of a cold and fights against seasonal allergies. � To moisturize your face and give skin a natural glow, mash one half a banana and mix with one tablespoon honey and one tablespoon orange juice. Mash until nearly lumpfree, spread on the face, and leave on for 15 minutes.

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PA RTIN G

IMAGES COURTESY GEORGETOWN PIO

S HOT

by Ann Marie Kennon

For Love of Shirley Rinn

I

f there was ever any doubt that City of Georgtown Executive Assistant Shirley Rinn was an institution in her own right, her retirement celebration certainly sealed the deal. This beloved community servant worked with 4 city managers, 4 city secretaries, 3 assistants to the city manager, 6 mayors, 3 interim city managers, and 42 council members—many of whom attended her party to wish her well in the next chapter of life. City Manager David Morgan said, "She's beloved. She was the go-to source for so many things and her knowledge of what we've done and where things are has always been a tremendous asset to us. But the best part of Shirley is that she is the most caring person I know. She truly loves her work family like her own and it was evident in how hard she worked for us."

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Mr. Morgan shared that Shirley's retirement plans include caring for people and family as she always has, including her newborn first grandchild. She is also looking forward to working in her impressive garden and pickling a lot of okra. "It was that sense of purpose in her personal and professional life that really connected her to her job, which was to help our office run better in service to the community." Always memorable, Shirley was known to punctuate her work day with 'new' vocabulary words. Mr. Morgan adds, "She was fun and took her job seriously but I will always hear her voice any time something seems wonky." Georgetown View is delighted to join the city staff and all the residents of Georgetown in wishing Shirley well on her new adventures as a grandmother and Executive emeritus.

THE PROCLAMATION Whereas, Shirley Rinn began her work adventure with the City of Georgetown in June 1999 and has been navigating her busy, busy life with us ever since; and Whereas, Shirley is retiring from the city today and we want to express how much she is appreciated; and Whereas, not a day goes by that Shirley doesn't offer a support hug to every-one, no matter how many road obstacles jump in front of her on her way here, throwing her day into a wonky mess; and Whereas, there may be cheese rolls in the kitchen, fog as thick as pea soup, something broke down and she is herding cats, working her calendar magic, and all while having that niggly feeling about something, Shirley would still give you her whole heart. Now, therefore, in honor of her enduring service to the city and her ability to give encouragement to have a most awesome day to all that she encounters, We, the Mayor and City Manager of the City of Georgetown, Texas do hereby declare Friday, August 19, 2022 Shirley Rinn Day.


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