Erath County Living - Summer 2022

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BIG BROTHERS

The day before the official beginning of spring, people enjoyed the freedom and fresh air. A perfect sunshiny day for the first Buckles and Bugs Festival at the Birdsong Amphitheater in Stephenville City Park.

FESTIVALBUCKLES&BUGS

A next-to-real-life experience of having a sibling relationship is available through Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS’s mission is to “create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.”

Hometown Living At Its Best

SISTERS-ENHANCINGBIGTHELIVESOFBIGSANDLITTLES

MOO-LA IS BACK TO THE DELIGHT OF FANS Moo-La is the fiberglass cow that sits up high on the square, greeting all and reminding everyone of the area’s great dairy heritage. The dairy diva has stood in tribute to the local dairy industry at the center of the Erath County seat for five decades.

SUMMER 2022

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Hometown Living At Its Best 1

Begin your next chapter where you feel at home. For parents ready to welcome their newest addition, Texas Health Stephenville is just around the corner. We offer newly remodeled labor and delivery rooms, celebratory meals for families and more of the comfortable perks you want - closer to home. Texas Health is right there with you. Doctors on the medical staffs practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health hospitals or Texas Health Resources. © 2022 Growing families start here. Get a closer look TexasHealth.org/StephenvilleBabyat 2 Erath County Living

Open since September of 2009 6 weeks up to 12 years LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE Nurture

thrive! 1225 W. South Loop, Stephenville | (254) 965-4849 | 6:30am-6:00pm

Nurture n’ Nature was founded by two mothers, both Tarleton graduates who were working full-time jobs, raising children, and working on their MBAs at the University of North Texas. Together, they had experienced personal inhome care childcare, other stay at home moms offering childcare, as well as commercial care. Their realization that there were amazing qualities about all those environments brought about their vision to take the best aspects from all of those and create a “home away from home” for their children that was safe, loving and dependable. Roots were planted in 2007 when the owners par ticipated in and won a competition for their business plan sponsored by the University of North Texas. In addition, they were supported by our amazing community and STEDO foundation. Nurture n’ Nature opened the doors in September 2009 with the mission of providing quality childcare that is not only focused on just childrens’ needs, but parents’ needs as well. They offer childcare for 6 weeks to 12 years of age with extended hours of operation that are convenient for other hard-working parents from 6:30am -6:00 pm Monday through Friday. Nurture n’ Nature does not follow the reg ular school schedule for closures. Recognizing that sometimes parents do not have a choice during inclement weather, Nature n’ Nurture does not close their doors when Texas decides to deliver a nice blanket of ice during the winter. Those parents who do not get to stay home snuggled in front of the fire retain their option of childcare during those weather events that may close other cen ters doors.

Nurture n’ Nature is fortunate to have an amazing director, Tate Vernon, who has been with the center since it opened 13 years ago. She joined at the ripe old age of 19 and has blossomed into an inspirational leader and backbone of Nurture n’ Nature. Her leadership, enthusiasm and passion for children is second to none and the children, parents and owners of Nurture n’ Nature are blessed to have her! Tate is supported by Adriana Juarez, the Facility Coordina tor, who has been part of the adventure for the last 3 years. She, too, is a wonder ful and essential part of the success of Nurture n’ Nature. Her love, compassion and dedication to the children is demonstrated day in and day out and it is safe to say that the center would not be the same without her. It also cannot go without being said how remarkable the staff is. These are women that genuinely love their jobs and their children. Yes, we said, “their”! From our nursery room teachers to our wonderfully creative and crazy two-year-old class learning sign language to our terrific three- and four-year-olds learning writing, rhyming and oh so much more. Nurture n’ Nature truly has something for every small child to learn. Nurture n’ Nature also offers parents a piece of mind while away from their children by offering a live streaming video system. It allows parents and grandparents to watch their children grow remotely. It is an added benefit for family members that do not live close by but want to feel that way! Nurture n’ Nature recognizes that their success is owed to the remarkable community in which they live and operate and the parents that support them. They pay it for ward by participating in community fund raisers, sponsorships, events and is a loyal member of the chamber lead by the incredible servant leader, July Danley! n’ where your child can

Nature staff is committed to providing a supportive environment

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ABOUTCOVERTHE Cover photo is of the first Buckles and Bugs Festival at the Birdsong Amphitheater in Stephenville City Park. To read more about this great fundraiser, turn to page 18. 4 Erath County Living

A next-to-real-life experience of having a sibling relationship is available through Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS’s mission is to “create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth." ART BATH: CREATOR TURNS YEARS OF EXPERIENCE INTO DREAM SCENARIOS

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The mission at Tarleton Equine Assisted Therapeutic Riding is to provide therapeutic horseback riding experiences for people with special needs in the local community and to teach college students how to use the horse in various forms of therapy. BIG BROTHERS

It’s a tradition here in Stephenville for players to bleach their hair once they make it deep in the playoffs. When you play sixteen grueling weeks, playing in one of the best districts and regions in all the state you know you have accomplished something really special. 56

The day before the official beginning of spring, people enjoyed the freedom and fresh air. A perfect sunshiny day for the first Buckles and Bugs Festival at the Birdsong Amphitheater in Stephenville City Park. TREAT RIDINGTARLETON EQUINE ASSISTED THERAPEUTIC RIDING PARTNERING WITH THE HORSE TO CHANGE LIVES SINCE 1995

CONTENTS 18

10 FOSTER'S HOME FOR CHILDREN Since Since its humble beginnings, Foster's Home has served over 4000 children and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Because of dreamers like the Foster's, hurting children have a place to call home. 18 BUCKLES AND FAMILYANDFESTIVAL-MUSIC,BUGSFOODWHOLESOMEFUN

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Reuben Bejjani and his brother Leo turned years of working in the plumbing and remodeling business into some of the most beautiful bathroom designs and products to be found. PRIME STANDINGBUILDINGSMETALSTILLSTRONG

Over the years, Prime has grown outside of the dairy industry and now is an industry leader in commercial, agricultural, aviation, industrial, equestrian, and residential buildings. YELLOW JACKETS2021 STATE CHAMPS

ANDTHESISTERS-ENHANCINGBIGLIVESOFBIGSLITTLES

ADVANCED IMAGING SERVICES INCLUDING ACR ACCREDITED CT AND FLUOROSCOPYDIGITALBONEULTRASOUNDMRIDENSITYXRAY GUIDED PAIN URINEFORLABORATORYINJECTIONSSERVICESBLOODWORKORANALYSIS crosstimbersimaging.com561N.Graham|Stephenville,TX76401254-968-8600 Meet Your Hometown Doctors Trust Your Care To Cross Timbers Imaging Excellent. Affordable. Efficient. Jill McAngus, MD Alana Waterford, MDMatt Maruska, DOWilliams Evans, MD crosstimbersortho.com561N.Graham|Stephenville,TX76401254-965-2663SCHEDULEANAPPOINTMENT! Hometown Living At Its Best 5

Health Women’s Care in Stephenville a reawakening. A rejuvenation. A triumph.CONTENTS HOMETOWN HAPPENINGS 47 50 STRONG WOMEN GALA CALENDAR OF EVENTS 88 A FULL 6 PAGES OF EVENTS TO PLAN YOUR SUMMER AND FALL72 6 Erath County Living

A decade ago you might have only thought of Waco, Texas as a “pass through” town, but today a dozen associations are made when you hear of this city.

72 MOO-LA IS BACK TO THE DELIGHT OF FANS Moo-La is the fiberglass cow that sits up high on the square, greeting all and reminding everyone of the area’s great dairy heritage. The dairy diva has stood in tribute to the local dairy industry at the center of the Erath County seat for five decades.

80 64 STAYING CONNECTED WITH GOD God reminded me of the importance of maintaining my spiritual health with diligent care. If I let my faith practices fall to the wayside, I could find myself looking at an equally neglected spiritual walk.

80 FIGHTING FOR EQUALITY: TEXAS COWGIRLS FIND NEW WAYS TO OVERCOME 85-YEAR STRUGGLE Hall-of-Fame roper, Lari Dee Guy, of Abilene, noticed the advertised purse for women’s roping at an upcoming PRCA rodeo was just 17 percent of what the other events would pay. “We were in a huff,” admitted Hope Thompson, another world champion cowgirl raised in Atlanta, Texas. “It was like, let’s just raise the money ourselves!” Texas

96 STEPHENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL EXPANSION The project focused on expanding and improving SHS to provide more opportunities for students and to best serve staff and the community. 102 TEXAS HEALTH HOSPITAL WELCOMES NEW PHYSICIANS Call the reopening of

66 DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

Culinary Home of COWBOY CHEF NEWTON CUISINE!FINEEXPERIENCEDININGSOPHISTICATEDTEXAS Give Us A Call RESERVE NOW! 254-505-3235 @newtonssaddleracknewtonssaddlerack.com @newtonssaddlerack

Hey, Erath County friends! Summer is officially here and while you are out and about enjoying all that Erath Coun ty has to offer, we hope you’re staying cool at the same time! There are plenty of reasons to celebrate with family andWefriends.tell you with every issue how much the people of Erath County inspire us. In this issue, you will read about Tarleton Equine Assisted Therapeutic Riding (TREAT), which provides therapeutic horseback riding experiences for people with special needs in the local community and also teaches college students how to use the horse in various forms of therapy. You will also read about Foster’s Home for Children. Sherwood Foster, oilman and rancher, with his wife Myrtie, founded the home named in their honor in 1958. Children came to live at the first house in 1960. Since its humble beginnings, Foster’s Home has served over 4,000 children. We want to thank our advertisers for making this publication possible and free to the community! Help us express our gratitude by shopping local and visiting their establishments to pick up your complimentary copy. This publication is about you! Please feel free to email us photos of your events to add to our Hometown Happenings or any stories you would like to read in the next issue. We would love to hear from you!We give thanks to God for our many blessings and look forward to a great year to come! Until the next edition, wishing you many blessingsJustin and Hayley Six Kyle and Halsey Clark He

has shown all you people what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~ Micah 6:8 Erath County Living Magazine | RedFin Publishing www.ErathCountyLiving.com PUBLISHER RedFin Publishing Justin & Hayley Six Kyle & Halsey Clark EXECUTIVE EDITOR Hayley Six CREATIVE | DESIGN GreenFox Marketing CONTENT COORDINATOR Marybelle Gomez Marybelle.RedFin@Gmail.com PROOF READER Jennifer Cabbage PHOTOGRAPHERS Amanda Akin Photography Back Roads Photography Bailey JovelynLamarRoden Photography RC Photography COVER PHOTO Photo by Bailey Lamar SALES Kyle LoriJustinClarkSixStephens CONTRIBUTING Connie Lewis Leonard WRITERS Erica Willis Julie RickPeggyMarthaLindsayMankinAllenHeltonPurserFreemanMauch CONTRIBUTORS Stephenville Chamber of Commerce Stephenville High School Texas Health Hospital Stephenville Erath County Living© is published semi-annually by RedFin Publishing. www.RedfinPublishing.com P.O. Box 1239 | Weatherford, TX 76086 (817) 618-9465 All rights reserved. Copies or reproduction of this publication in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without expressed written authorization from the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. Advertising is subject to omission, errors, and other changes without notice. FROM THE PUBLISHER 8 Erath County Living

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Sherwood Foster, oilman and rancher, with his wife Myrtie, founded the home named in their honor in 1958. Children came to live at the first house in 1960. Since its humble beginnings, Foster’s Home has served over 4,000 children and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Because of dreamers like the Fosters, hurting children have a place to call home. Children today are counting on others to carry on the dream begun by these pioneers. Foster’s Home for Children is a faith-based insti tution with a mission to show Jesus and His love to hurting children who have suffered trauma from abuse and neglect. President and CEO Doug Young said, “This is some of the most challenging work people can ever do. It takes special people with huge hearts who care about the welfare of chil dren from hard places. We have some exceptional people across the board at Foster’s Home for Children. Some have been at this for many years, others are fairly new to the work, but all of us understand the gravity of what we are trying to do.”

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By Connie Lewis Leonard Photos provided by Foster's Home Since its humble beginnings, Foster’s Home has served over 4,000 children and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Because of dreamers like the Fosters, hurting children have a place to call home. “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old, he will not depart from it.” -- Proverbs 22:6

Foster'sHomefor Children

While Foster’s Home seeks to provide the counseling and educational needs of the children, the determinations related to reunification are made by a third party who places children in their care. In the event that children are private placements, they work with families directly based upon what they are seeking to accomplish through the program. Sadly, the majority of private placements, as well as a good number of foster care placements, are the products of failed adoptions. This allows the home to be able to serve the long-term needs of youths, often bringing them to the point of adulthood at 18.

Young said, “While the evidence is anecdotal, I think some of the huge holes in the adoption process center around the lack of trauma-informed training. Couples have this utopian notion that children given up for adop tion are just going to welcome a new couple into their lives and appreciate what’s been done for them by being adopted. There’s trauma from abandonment, and often trauma that is passed on genetically (children born to mothers who did drugs and etc.) that they may not be prepped for. In the end, the ‘rose colored glasses’ that adopting parents wear are simply problematic.”

Foster’s uses The Sanctuary Model of trauma-in formed care. Kids that come into care aren’t problem kids. They are kids from terribly problematic situations. The Sanctuary Toolkit adheres to eight specific com mitments to work with children based on traumatic experiences that drive behavior. Those commitments are: Non-Violence, Emotional Intelligence, Democracy, Open Communication, Social Responsibility, Social Learning, Growth and Change, and Forgiveness. This helps provide a foundation for a safe environment that affords children an opportunity to cope with their trauma. In turn, doors are opened for a better future.

The majority of the kids are in state placed foster care.

“This is some of the most challenging work people can ever do. It takes special people with huge hearts who care about the welfare of children from hard places.”

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“Normally, we care for around 50 youth. At times less but other times more. We’ve had infants right out of the hospital to 18 years of age in our group program. The beauty of our cottage home model is that we are set up to take sibling groups both small and large. We’ve had sibling sets of five living together all under one roof. That can be tremendously helpful in keeping kids connected.”

Hometown Living At Its Best 13

Foster’s Home for Children tries to meet the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of the children.

Barbara Hughes heads up the Achiever’s Tutoring Pro gram. Several nights a week, kids are able to access tutors to help them get school work done or simply for compre hension purposes. Barbara enrolls all the kids in school, most attend Stephenville ISD but some attend charter schools, and closely monitors their grades in order to meet each child’s specific needs. This is why it is such a successful program. Barbara works with kids in the areas of TSI (Texas Success Initiative, a required stan dardized test that juniors and seniors must take before graduation, unless they are exempt through dual credit work), ACT, and SAT prep. She also works with them on FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students must complete this as well before graduation for the purposes of determining financial responsibility for attending college), post-high school opportunities, scholarships, resumes and etc.

SOAR House is a unique concept at Foster’s Home. When kids turn eighteen, they are adults and can leave if they so wish. But the overwhelming majority stays be cause they have no other place to go. Years ago, the SOAR House was built to help further facilitate eighteen-yearolds into adulthood. It is semi-independent living with an RA in residence to help them. If they attend Ranger College or Tarleton State University, they can live there rent free. If they don’t attend school, they must work and "Foster’s Home for Children tries to meet the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of the children."

“We are still working out numerous kinks in the pro gram, but we are making significant strides in helping these young adults adjust to life on their own. We are ac tually in the construction phase of a second SOAR House that is set to be completed in either April or May of 2022,” saidFoster’sYoung. Home tries to create normal experiences for kids who have mainly experienced chaos, disappoint ment, and upheaval. Pigs, rabbits, sheep, and goats are available for kids interested in competing in stock shows. They keep the money from the sale of the animals, less the cost initial of the animal and feed. Saving the sale money can add up to a nice little nest egg and caring for the animals provides invaluable experience. A Tarleton AG student helps introduce and familiarize kids to the animals, even if they aren’t interested in competitive showing.Various organizations take groups of six to seven kids on hunting trips. Girls and boys go at separate times. Service dogs have also been introduced to the children on a voluntary basis. During the summers, children can participate in 4-H activities such as sewing, cooking, and crafts. Years ago, the SOAR House was built to help further facilitate eighteen-yearolds into adulthood.

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pay a small amount of rent on a yearly tier system. Young adults who’ve not been at Foster’s Home, but who have been in foster care or have been residents in a children’s home elsewhere, can enter SOAR House. Guidance and counseling will be available for residents as they spread their wings on the runway to a successful adult life.

Five trained and certified staff members facilitate challenging outdoor activities, including two zip lines. High Level and Low Level Elements Ropes Courses can be used by residents and visiting school groups. Traverse Elements offer two levels of obstacles, including high line, ladder elements and a rock climbing wall. Quick Flight, where students step off a platform and free fall before being caught, helps them overcome fears.

Hometown Living At Its Best 15

ECL "Foster’s Home tries to create normal experiences for kids who have mainly experienced chaos, disappointment, and upheaval."

Young said, “We do offer numerous volunteer and sponsorship opportunities. Those interested can visit with Lacy Barton. I’ll also say, we are grateful for the community of Stephenville, as well as the greater county, for all they do for us in helping make the best out of diffi cult circumstances in which kids find themselves.”

HOME • AUTO • BUSINESS • LIFE & HEALTH FARM & RANCH COVERAGE • ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES 254-965-3155 www.fraseragency.com ONE-STOP-SHOPYOUR FOR planning &protection!

Hometown Living At Its Best 17

18 Erath County Living

By Connie Lewis Leonard Photos Provided By Bailey Lamar Saturday, March 21, provided a perfect sunshiny day for the first Buckles and Bugs Festival at the Birdsong Amphitheater in Stephenville City Park. Patrons could hear the music as they strolled through the park, visit ing vendors from various locations.Beyond the front stage table seating, plenty of space was available to sit in your own chairs and enjoy the music.

Texas Native Jeff Canada kicked off the music entertainment from 12:30-1:00. He enjoys live performances.“Monsters,”“Wast ed Thing” and “Memories in a Shoebox” are some of his songs. Jesse Raub, Jr. took the stage from 2-3:00. His hit songs in clude “Good Times,”“Dance Her Home,”“She’ll put the Hurt on You” and “I’d Look Good on You.”

Rick Trevino entertained guests.With fourteen

John Stork followed from 3:30-4:30. Hailing from Houston, Stork’s style is rockytonk with a soulful sound.His songs include “Rodeo Blues,”“Rodeo Cowboy,”“Another Town,”and “If You CanFromDance.”5-6:00

FESTIVALBUCKLES&BUGS Hometown Living At Its Best 19

THE DAY BEFORE THE OFFICIAL BEGINNING OF SPRING, PEOPLE ENJOYED THE FREEDOM AND FRESH AIR. A PERFECT SUNSHINY DAY FOR THE FIRST BUCKLES AND BUGS FESTIVAL AT THE BIRDSONG AMPHITHEATER IN STEPHENVILLE CITY PARK.

VENDORS

The auction benefiting Stephenville’s all-inclusive playground at City Park took placefrom 8:15-8:30. The project is expected tocost$400,000 and includes a pourin-play surface, three separateplaygrounds and a swing set. For more information on the park or to make a do nation, toexpressiondana”whoseandnativetainmentall-inclusive-playground-city-parkvisitwww.stephenvilletx.gov/parks-leisure/page/HeadlinerAaronWatsonconcludedthemusicenterfrom8:30-10:00.Fortwentyyears,theAmarillohasbuilthiscareerthroughsongwriting,touringself-releasedalbums.In2019,hereleased“RedBan20songswerehailedbyTheBootas“apureofhistraditionalcountryethos,”accordinginformationfromWatson’swebsite.Hehasearnedthe "PATRONS COULD HEAR THE MUSIC AS THEY STROLLED THROUGH THE PARK, VISITING FROM LOCATIONS."

VARIOUS

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singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and seven albums to his credit, Trevino’s highest charting single, “Running Out of Reasons to Run,”reached number onein 1996.Giovannie & The Hired Guns played from 6:30-7:45. This group out of Stephenville describes their style as “high-octane collision of rock-and-roll and country.” Their two full-length albums are titled “Bad Habits” and “Giovannie & The Hired Guns.”

Nestegg Farm Shopofferedhandmade with love: tumblers, t-shirts, monogrammed keychains, car decals, custom door mats, wooden porch signs, door hangers and more. My favorite t-shirt said, “I don’t take orders. I barely take suggestions.”

Texas Buffalo Boutique, Where western meets mod ern flair: Travelin’trendy gypsy boutique. All things western, modern,and classic, jewelry, bags, t-shirts, sweaters,and rodeo posters. Coming from New Mexico, I love their slogan, “A girl can never have too much tur quoise.”Diamond T Boots are handcrafted boots with the trademark “Diamond in the Heel.”Designed for cowgirls with class, the boots feature fringe, rhinestones, and fan "TEXAS NATIVE JEFF CANADA KICKED OFF THE ENTERTAINMENT."MUSIC

title “Texas country's reining indie underdog”(Rolling Stone).The day before the official beginning of spring, peo ple enjoyed the freedom and fresh air. Friendly vendors showed their smiles, no longer hidden behind cumber some masks. Little Bit Goat Soap offered all natural goat milk soaps and handmade cedar soap holders. littlebit goatsoap.com.TwistedLavender offered unique silver jewelry with stones that could be dabbed with essential oils. I bought my granddaughter a horse with several different colored stones and lavender essential oil, of course!

cy stitching work in various colors. Wrap a little love around your finger with Niko’s Name Rings. They also offer a wide variety of personal ized Pet Tags for your fur babies. Being an animal lover, the P.A.W.S. site caught my attention. They had several lovable dogs looking for their furever homes. Because Pets Are Worth Saving, P.A.W.S. sponsors local low-cost spay/neuter and wellness visits. They educate the community on responsible ownership and local resources they can rely on. They provide animal food or supplies for local shelters and rescues. They give all the local shelters and rescues another platform to pro mote their adoptable animals. They sponsor fundraisers and participate in events to help raise money for shelters and rescues. I purchased a raffle ticket and won a $25 Crazy Hair Coffee gift card and cookie set. Happy me!

Parker’s Quality K9 isa dog training company that focuses on basic obedience, puppy socialization, behav ior modification and service dog training. Buckin Nitty Gritty Boutique carries Rebel Western Wear with sass. They have an actual storefront in Rain bow, Texas, near me. I’ve got to go check out their pink bell bottoms—retro wear from back in my day.

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"HEADLINER AARON WATSON CONCLUDED THE ENTERTAINMENTMUSICFROM8:30-10:00."

"SINCE BUCKLES AND BUGS WAS A FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENT, A KIDS ZONE WITH BOUNCE HOUSES, GAMES AND FACE PAINTING SAT UP FRONT AND CENTER."

"BETWEEN $8,000-10,000 WAS RAISED FOR THE ALL-INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS."

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Kimberly Reynolds’ Treasure Trunk features unique T-shirts that are displayed every first Monday at Canton Marketplace.TheBigRed Barn Wedding and Event Center offers spacious, rustic accommodations for your special adven ture. One Day Rentals are available for class reunions, sorority/fraternity, parties, showers,or proms. Two Day Rentals can accommodate weddings, receptions,and large-scale events. Corporate/Non Profit Events are available for luncheons, seminars, parties, fundrais ers,and galas. I love their slogan, “Once in a while, right in the middle of life, love gives us a fairy tale.” On May first, The Big Red Barn will feature “A Day at the Derby WeddingUdderlyExpo.”Loved Designs features unique T-shirts, glass cutting boards, tumblers, coasters, car air freshen ers and puzzles. The Nut Mafia offers Bavarian style Cinnamon Roasted Nuts; the freshest Pecan, Almonds and Cashews roasted to perfection with a hint of cinnamon, vanil la,andsugar; custom gift orders and fundraisers. They smelled delicious, but I didn’t sample or buy anything sinceI am highly allergic to pecans. James McCaleb, owner of Flyin’ Arrows Bow Fishing, offers Bow Fishing Guide Service at Lake Granbury and the surrounding area. He had some really clever fishing bows for those who may want to try a different type of fishing.Genia Yzaaguirre, independent Scentsy Consultant, gave me a generous bag of samples, including Pink Cot ton Laundry Detergent, Luna Sugar Scrub and Squeeze the Day Dish soap. They all smell delightful. On the opposite side of the music stage,savory scents wafted from the food trucks. Taylor’s Turn-n-Burn Cafe had the cutest truck, with a scene reminiscent of a bygone era. They gave us a free sample of pizza. It was ooey, goo ey, cheesy goodness on a thin, crisp crust. Little Shop of Sweets offers the most delicious Bubble Waffles, a Japanese inspired dessert. They have the cutest “plants” inspired by Audrey II, the talking plant from outer space, the star of Little Shop of Horrors. The Shack, “Who’s Your Crawdaddy?”offered craw fish with a Cajon flavor, shrimp, catfish, boudin balls and corn dogs for the kiddos. Their restaurant isin downtown Stephenville.SpeedySpuds was another food truck. They served chopped barbeque sandwiches and ribbon fries. Their specialty is ribbon fries loaded with chopped brisket, nacho cheese, barbeque sauce and jalapenos. Since Buckles and Bugs was a family friendly event, a Kids Zone with bounce Houses, games and face paint ing satup front and center. The event proved to be an enjoyable time for everyone. Between $8,000-10,000 was raised for the all-inclusive playground for children with special needs. Congratulations Stephenvillefor being so generous!Thanks to those that donated and purchased the auction items. Much appreciation toCharlie Diggs Entertainment and Promotion for making this happen. Special thanksthe entertainers, the highlight of the festi val. ECL "ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE MUSIC STAGE, SAVORY SCENTS WAFTED FROM THE FOOD TRUCKS."

CROSS TIMBERS FINE ARTS COUNCIL Serving Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hood, Palo Pinto and Somervell Counties since 1980 148 West College Street Stephenville, TX 76401 (254) 965-6190 crosstimbersfinearts.orgFindusonfacebook COME SEE US AT OUR NEW LOCATION ON THE SQUARE! “Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined” CTFAC presents “Art Camp” Join us for a special art camp featuring art instructors Stephanie Beach, Lauren Betancur and Brie Shernisky. Learn elements of art design, work with different media such as clay, watercolors, acrylics & collage. Create several unique take home art projects, plus sketches and practice papers. Students will receive a sketchbook, t-shirt, pencils and portfolio. Refreshments will be provided. July 18TH - 21ST, 9AM - 12PM 148 West College Street, Stephenville • Ages invited: Boys and girls, 2nd grade and up • Cost: $150 per child (Limited scholarships available) • Contact: Seating is limited – Call (254) 965-6190 or email info@ctfac.com to reserve a spot A national, traveling exhibit featuring 48 handcolored engravings and lithographs that explore the influence artists had on the preception of the wild west. • Ages invited: For all ages • Cost: Free to the public • Contact: Call (254) 965-6190 or email info@ctfac.com for gallery hours and exhibit information “The Art of Lovely Manners” Classes for girls – 9:30AM - 11:30AM “The Art of being a Gentleman” Classes for boys – 2PM - 4PM Join us for lessons on everything from modern table etiquette to proper correspondence. CTFAC presents “Manners Camp” July 11TH - 15TH 148 West College Street, Stephenville • Ages invited: Boys and girls ages 8-13 • Cost: $75 per child • Contact: Seating is limited – Call (254) 965-6190 or email info@ctfac.com to reserve a spot June 16TH - August 11TH CTFAC on the Square 148 West College Street, Stephenville

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TREAT Riding

Tarleton Equine Assisted Therapeutic Riding

Partnering with the horse to change lives since 1995

THE MISSION AT TARLETON EQUINE ASSISTED THERAPEUTIC RIDING IS TO PROVIDE THERAPEUTIC HORSEBACK RIDING EXPERIENCES FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND TO TEACH COLLEGE STUDENTS HOW TO USE THE HORSE IN VARIOUS FORMS OF THERAPY. In the fall of 1994, a couple of teachers at Stephenville ISD wanted to bring their class out for a “rodeo day.” That has evolved into the Special Kids Rodeo that happens twice a year. A graduate student desired to develop an equine assisted therapy program for their graduate project. Dr. David Snyder helped lead that proj ect and TREAT Riding was the result of those efforts in the spring of 1995. TREAT is a Premier Accredited Center with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH, Intl.). Accreditation focuses on education and evaluation of a center’s program(s) using standards that are developed and approved by the mem bership and that are considered basic to equine-assisted services. Standards are written in an objective manner to assure consistent interpretation by centers and con sistent evaluation by trained site visitors. The standards By Connie Lewis Leonard Photos Provided By TREAT Its

Hometown Living At

The University funds the director’s nine-month contract and provides use of the equine center arena and housing for the equines. The program covers ev erything else which includes, but is not limited to, horse feed and health care, student worker wages, equipment upkeep and summer salary for their director. TREAT is currently a Partner Agency with Erath County United Way. They also receive funding from the Alice L. Walton Foundation, local businesses, and individuals.

are reviewed regularly and updated by the PATH, Intl. Program and Standards Oversight Committee and Accreditation Sub-Committee as needed. Accreditation provides a process of evaluation that recognizes that a center’s program meets basic standards for health and safety and so promotes the well-being of all participants and equines. Once accredited, the program will have a site visit every five years to renew. Shelby Huxen, TREAT Director said, “Our program is unique in that it functions as a lab for a college course, ANSC 3340 – basic therapeutic riding. Currently there are no prerequisites for the course, so as long as students have room in their degree plan for an advanced elective, they can take the course. It is a three-hour credit course where students are learning about different diagnoses and how therapeutic riding can benefit those individu als. The best part is the hands-on experience they receive by working as ‘volunteers’ in the program. Tarleton stu dents do not have to take the course to be involved with the program. We accept both student volunteers and members of the community.”

"TREAT IS A PREMIER ACCREDITED CENTER WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THERAPEUTIC INTERNATIONALHORSEMANSHIP,(PATH,INTL.)."

The mission at Tarleton Equine Assisted Therapeu tic Riding is to provide therapeutic horseback riding experiences for people with special needs in the local community and to teach college students how to use the horse in various forms of therapy. All of this would not be possible without the dedicated support from Tarleton Students, local businesses, organizations, and individ uals from the community. To maintain a minimum cost to our riders, TREAT Riding accepts donations of horses, equipment, and funds to help with operational expenses. Scholarships give more kids the opportunity to participate. TREAT Riding is looking for ways to raise funds for a dedicated therapeutic riding facility to better serve our riders and to train more students for the industry.Theprogram has partnered with members from nursing, counseling, and psychology in the past for a study on the effect of therapeutic riding on volunteers. The pilot study was done in the fall of 2012 and second round was completed in the spring of 2013. The findings were exactly what they expected. Not only from each individual session but over the entire semester there was improvement in volunteer mood, attitude, and knowledge in every aspect. Simply put by one volunteer, “you could show up, having a rough day but the second you work with a rider, it puts things in perspective and changes your attitude not just for the moment but moving forward. It makes you a better person. I truly feel that I benefit more from the riders than they benefit from riding.” -anonymous It is designed to utilize horseback riding as a form of physical, emotional, and recreational therapy. TREAT Riding also serves as a training program for college stu dents who plan to enter careers in different phases of the equine assisted therapy industry and for students who will be involved with children with special needs in their chosen profession. TREAT Riding provides a hands-on "OUR PROGRAM IS UNIQUE IN THAT IT FUNCTIONS AS A LAB FOR A COLLEGE COURSE, ANSC 3340 –BASIC THERAPEUTIC RIDING."

laboratory for a variety of classes including special ed ucation, nursing science, adaptive physical education, psychology, and various agriculture classes. Volunteers and staff can earn some of their train ing hours to be a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, but they cannot complete the entirety of the certification process through TREAT Riding. TREAT Riding’s sessions are Monday through Thursday in the afternoon. Riders receive a 30 minute ride under the su pervision of a PATH Intl Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a group of college students. The base rate is $10 per ride. Scholarships may be available for those in need. Contact us to schedule specific riding times. “We host our Special Kids Rodeo twice per year, one in October and the other in April. This is an event where surrounding schools bring their special educa tion classes out for a “rodeo day.” We have had schools from Brownwood, Cross Plains, Eastland, San Saba, Peaster, and many in between. We see local schools such as Stephenville, Dublin, Bluff Dale, Gorman, Li pan, and many others. We have local schools, 4H and FFA groups bring their high school kids to volunteer along with individuals from our Tarleton family and the community. This is an event everyone should come see for themselves. You can’t beat the smiles on those faces!

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"IT IS DESIGNED TO UTILIZE HORSEBACK RIDING AS A FORM OF PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, AND RECREATIONAL THERAPY."

“Although we are in need of monetary donations, we accept other types of donations as well! We are currently in need of sound, good tempered, healthy horses under the age of 20 as well as western tack in good condition. Because of the rapid growth of the Equine Program at Tarleton and the number of horses that must be used for instruction in the equine classes, it has become in creasingly difficult to find times available for TREAT riding sessions and adequate housing for TREAT horses. Because all of the TREAT equipment must be portable and must be set up and taken down for each riding session, safety procedures are difficult to manage. It is not possible to expand TREAT services or educational opportunities in the existing facilities. The establishment of a facility that is dedicated to therapeutic riding would allow flexibility for riding sessions and special programs to better meet the needs of our clients and our students. We are looking to see the establishment of said facility in the near future but are needing help to do so!"

ECL Physical: • Decreased spasticity • Improved appetite and digestion • Improved balance • Improved coordination, faster reflexes, and better motor planning • Improved respiration and circulation • Increased range of motion of the joints • Reduction of abnormal movement patterns • Sensory integration • Strengthened muscles • Stretching tight or spastic muscles Psychological: • Development of patience • Emotional control and self-discipline • General sense of wellbeing • Improved risk-taking abilities • Improved self-confidence • Increased interest in one’s own life • Increased interest in the “outside world” • Increased sense of control • Sense of normality Social: • Development of friendships and trust • Development of respect and love for animals • Experience a sense of being a part of a team • Experience independence If you have any interest in supporting our program in any fashion, feel free to give us a call at (254) 968-9847 or email us at Benefitstreat@tarleton.eduofEquineAssistedTherapy: 30 Erath County Living

Hometown Living At Its Best 31

Big Sisters

Having grown up with a younger brother and no sisters, I think it really would have changed my world had I had an older sis ter to share my life with, learn from and confide in. A next-to-real-life experience of having a sibling relationship is available through Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS’s mission is to “create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.” We will look at BBBS’s history and some local big sisters’ experiences. The need for BBBS originated in 1904 when a young New York City court clerk, named Ernest Coulter, observed that more and more troubled boys came through his courtroom. He reasoned that car ing adults could intervene in their lives and make a A next-to-real-life experience of having a sibling relationship is available through Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS's mission is to "create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth."

ENHANCING THE LIVES OF BIGS AND LITTLES

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By Martha Helton Photos Provided By BBBS

BIG BROTHERS

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positive impact so he gathered volunteers. This was the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.

Locally, Regional Executive Director of BBBS Erath County, Sara McNeal-Weaver, started her position at "Today, BBBS operates in all 50 states and in 12 countries around the world."

Around the same time, members of a group called Ladies of Charity began cultivating friendships with girls who came through the New York Children’s Court. They became known as Catholic Big Sisters. The two groups merged in 1977 to become Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Over the years BBBS continues to honor its origins of matching caring role models into the lives of children. Today, BBBS operates in all 50 states and in 12 countries around the world.

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Sara has been a Big. She has two little brothers. “My first Little is an adult now! I can’t believe it. So, we are not a supported match by BBBS, but my Little he will always be” she shares. He and I were matched as I welcomed both my kids into the world. My Little was one of the first people outside of family that held my oldest son. I love watching him grow up on social media and become this super cool adult. He has an amazing family and support system! They have allowed me into their lives to help love theirKaydeeson.” Hirt, who has worked for BBBS since 2012, knew she always loved children but decided teaching was not her thing. So, she sought out BBBS to personally give back to a child, to “give them someone else in their corner to cheer them on in becoming the best versions of themselves.”Kaydeewas matched to her little sister, Tori Garcia, when she was 13 years old. “We've been a part of each other's lives ever since and it's been so rewarding and fun to watch her grow up over the past five-and-a-half years. We always tell each other that we're stuck with each other forever now as we've developed such a strong friendship with each other,” shares Kaydee. They would meet every week when possible, grabbing a snack after school, do art projects together, get their nails done or go for coffee. “We both never really cared what we were doing on our 'outings' together; we just enjoyed each other’s company and talking.” "We've been a part of each other's lives ever since and it's been so rewarding and fun to watch her grow up over the past five-and-ahalf years."

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“We hope to see all our matches be long ones,” says Sara. “Children age out at 18 or when graduating high school, but our goal is to see matches stay matched and become life-long friends. Building relationships is our goal--we want those to be life-long healthy mentor friendships.”Personal Experiences

"She is truly like my little sister!" Kaydee was honored to be invited to Tori’s graduation. “Watching her walk across the stage to receive her diploma was one of the biggest highlights of 2021!” Kaydee returned the bond of friendship by asking Tori to be in her recent wedding. “Tori has made such a positive impact on my life that I couldn’t imagine not having her stand next to me on one of the biggest days off my life.” Kaydee proudly shares more about her little sis: “Tori is highly creative and talented when it comes to art. She is thinking of going to cosme tology school soon and also hopes to start a tattoo apprenticeship. Since Tori graduated high school, we're no longer an ‘official’ match with Big Broth ers Big Sisters but we still consider each other to be each other's big sister and little sister.”

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These unique relationships enhance the lives of both Bigs and Littles. Kaydee comments on her experience: “Being a Big Sister is just all around a fun and exciting way to drop all of the worries/ concerns being an adult can bring and just relax while making a positive impact on a child by lit erally just showing up consistently and spending time with them.”

Another local big sister is Halen Clemons who has been a Big for a little over five years. She shares about why she signed up to be a Big: “I have always had a passion for helping kids and being a posi tive role model in a kid’s life. In high school I was a part of our PALS program, which is very simi lar to Big Brothers Big Sisters--except for the fact that you are paired with kids in younger grades at your school,” says Halen. “I also needed volun teer hours for nursing school, and this was a fun and easy way to accomplish that. Currently she has a little sister going on four years of being matched. “She is truly like my lit tle sister!” They meet for an hour or more every other week. “We both enjoy the outdoors, so we spend a lot of time at the park either doing crafts or just swinging and hanging out. We also enjoy our frozen yogurt days!”

"Since Tori graduated high school, we're no longer an 'official' match with Big Brothers Big Sisters but we still consider each other to be each other's big sister and little sister."

Mentors who are at least 18 and have a high school diploma can reach out to BBBS by applying online. Mentors go through an interview process and a short training. Once completed and passed they are matched with a child that seems to be a good fit. “Bigs” and “Littles” are matched based on parental preference, similar personality, back ground, geographic location, and shared interests.

BBBS in 2010 working in program management, interviewing, and introducing matches. “I loved the BBBS program and what the agency stood for; I knew that it was an excellent fit for my personali ty.” Now, as Regional Executive Director, she does recruitment, fundraising, special events but with her bubbly personality, she still gets to connect with kids by carrying a small school-based case load. Sara summarizes her passion for her job: “Encouraging kids and working with families is my JAM!”Kidsfrom age six to 18 are eligible to sign up for the program. “When kids come to our pro gram, sometimes they are coming from single parent households, incarcerated parent house holds, grandparent raised, foster care, or maybe something like multiple children in a two-parent household, or both parents work full time. Maybe the child just comes to have a cool college kid to look up to and eat lunch with,” says Sara. “Maybe a child is struggling with confidence in the class room and mom and dad think just another person could be fun and exciting for their child. They come to us for ALL reasons! So, matching them with the perfect mentor for their need is so neat to see come to life.”

"Kids from age 6 to 18 are eligible to sign up for the program."

Bigs sign up for a year commitment. A Big will meet with their child on a one-to-one basis approximately two to four times a month, either in person or using technology. The pair do differ ent activities and outings with the ultimate goal of spending time together. ECL “She is truly like my little sister!” "A Big will meet with their child on a one-to-one technology."eithertoapproximatelybasistwofourtimesamonth,inpersonorusing

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Art Bath

euben Bejjani knows a thing or two about how beautiful and wonderful something new can Reubenbe. is president of Open Box to Go, doing business as Art Bath. Along with his brother Leo, who also owns 50% of the company, they turned years of working in the plumbing and remodeling business into some of the most beautiful bathroom designs and products to be found.

Reuben Bejjani is president of Open Box to Go, doing business as Art Bath. Along with his brother Leo, they turned years of working in the plumbing and remodeling business into some of the most beautiful bathroom designs and products to be found.

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R

By Rick Mauch ofturnscreatoryearsexperienceintodreamscenarios

Reuben is now firmly planted in Weatherford, with his wife Ghada and their five children Roy, Hope, Joy, Katia and Perla Bejjani. Reuben and Leo’s mother Amale Bejjani, and their sister, Danielle Bejjani (owner of a food truck called Dan ibelle, which is Lebanese food) also moved to Weatherford 18 months ago. “I moved here with my family in May 2017 for a better life and a better place to raise the children in a more Christian en vironment,” he said. “We purchased the commercial property in November 2016, added 8,500 square feet to the space, and opened up the store in February of 2020, in order to bring to Parker County a large selection of products that are quality andAtunique.”thestore, located at 3879 Fort Worth Hwy. in Weath erford, their top sellers include many freestanding bathtubs, bathroom vanities and shower enclosures. All are quality made and unique. The brothers were born in Kahale in Lebanon, where the family managed to survive through a civil war.

The brothers were born in Kahale in Lebanon, where the family managed to survive through a civil war. In 1987 the family moved to the United States - Virginia - where the brothers expanded their connection to the plumbing industry, which started in Lebanon. They owned several plumbing and electrical businesses, along with remodeling and even retail, importing and selling plumbing and lighting fixtures, etc.

In the early 1990s Reuben and Leo became American citizens. They began to live the American dream of being suc cessful in business, but there was more to come. They closed the retail shop in Virginia in 2017 when they moved to Weatherford, though Leo still owns and runs a plumbing business in Virginia.

“Since we were in the plumbing and remodeling business es for a long time, we faced many challenges having to install plumbing furniture and fixtures that were manufactured without keeping in mind that it might be too difficult for the installer to do,” Reuben said. “In 2004 we decided to bring the world to our clients, and started visiting manufacturers and importing our own products after passing our ideas to the manufacturers overseas, which implemented the ideas into the designs because we wanted the installer not to suffer much during the install.”

The most rewarding part of the entire business? Well, Reuben said there are several, starting with one most important part: “The Lord Jesus Christ, as I have been much closer to him since our move. Also, spending time with my family and children and training them at work - warehousing and display installation - in addition to helping clients,” he said.Reuben and Leo come from a long line of a plumbing and remodeling family. Their father and grandfather were in the building, plumbing, electrical and road con struction businesses. Today, Reuben and Leo, Reuben’s son Roy (17), his daughters Hope (15) and Joy (12) are also involved. Katia (10 ) and Perla (5) also visit the busi ness in order to get them used to the idea that if they want something they shall work for it. “I always explain to my children that unlike other coun tries, in the USA the sky is the limit. Aim high, put your mind to it, study hard, work honest and hard and you will see the fruit,” Reuben said. “A year ago, I had to go to Virginia for a week, and I left the store management responsibilities all together (dealing with clients, installing displays, selling, loading etc.) to my oldest children Roy and Hope, and the cus tomers loved them.”

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And if you want advice on installing products your self, they will gladly provide for free. Remember, you’re getting almost four decades of experience. They will tell you about layout possibilities, installation and why to purchase one kind versus another, for example.

If you want advice on installing products yourself, they will gladly provide for free.

“Even when we don’t have what the customer desires, we think outside the box and try to meet their expecta tions or refer them elsewhere,” Reuben said. Why offer the free advice and help? Reuben said be cause they’ve been in that same situation.

“When we first moved to the USA and made it home, it was very difficult as we didn’t speak the language, didn’t know anything about the culture,” he said. “We didn’t have a penny to our name, and the church and its members were there for us and helped us get on our feet. We will never forget that. Therefore we want to help and share our knowledge with anyone who needs it - even if they don’t make a purchase. “I have learned in this life that sharing knowledge saves others the headaches. In addition, when you help or give, it is very much satisfying.”

And they love their customers, Reuben stressed. That’s a reason they get folks from all over coming to see their immaculate showroom.

“We are very fortunate and blessed to have been able to call the USA our home. America is the most beautiful and best country on earth. I have traveled the world and I can attest.” ECL To see more of the beautiful and state-of-the-art products they offer, visit their website at https://artbath.us/.

“By the way, we also sell plumbing, lighting and remodeling parts and plumbing tools as we no longer need them,” he said. Like many businesses, they were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. They even closed for a while, but Reuben said by the grace of God they are bouncing back.And who knows? In the future other locations might even be part of the plan, he said. “I continue praying for our Lord’s will for our coun try (USA), and for our health and businesses and jobs. If the Lord permits us, why not?” he said.

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“They love the idea to be able to see, feel and touch and also take home the items they love on the same Andvisit.”whether the customer is repairing, remodeling or building, they can help them find the parts and fixtures they need in most cases, Reuben added.

“I always explain to my children that unlike other countries, in the USA the sky is the limit.”

“Clients drive from Waco and other cities to check our store out. They constantly tell us that they have nev er seen so many unique items under one roof,” Reuben said. “They also say, ‘We never knew such things exist.’ They also thank us a lot for being open in Weatherford, where they can’t find anything except the box stores.

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Stephenville 20th Century Club $3,500 Hometown Living At Its Best 47

FIFTY WOMEN STRONG

Fifty Women Strong does not consider religious or polit ical requests and focuses on unmet needs and quality of life issues. Dr. Rita Cook states, “We want to give grants in the average of $10,000 so that our support can make a difference in an organization. This is our first year but we expect to increase our membership and grow the amount we can award each year. We want to encourage women in our area to join us so we can grow women in philan thropy and leadership in our community.” ECL

Grants awarded this night were: Anything’s PAWsible $10,000 Blessed Communities, Inc. $10,000 Erath County Humane Society $10,000 Historical Society $10,000 Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy $5,000 Restoration Advocates $8,500

On April 1st, the Fifty Women Strong organization celebrated a successful year with a gala evening to award funds to selected organizations in Erath County. Fifty Women Strong raised $57,000 this year and 100% of the funds were awarded. Twelve dif ferent organizations submitted grants and the winning submissions were decided by the organization members in a secret ballot.

Provided by Metta Collier

Fifty Women Strong is a new foundation established for the purpose of raising funds to benefit Erath County. This new foundation gives a voice to a diverse group of women from all walks of life within the community.

Fifty Women Strong is a new foundation established for the purpose of raising funds to benefit Erath County. This new foundation gives a voice to a diverse group of women from all walks of life within the community who want to create a legacy of improvement in the communi ty through philanthropy. Membership in the foundation is open to any woman donating $1000 to the foundation. Payment options are available but total membership fees must meet the December 31 deadline. Each year the membership votes to fund requests from different organizations, groups, and people in Erath County. One hundred percent of the amount collected through membership is distributed. The organization’s focus is to provide financial support to smaller, grassroots orga nizations who historically don’t have major fundraising capabilities.FiftyWomen Strong is a donor based advised fund through Boucher, Morgan, and Young. All donations are 100%Areasdeductible.ofFocus are: Culture and Beautification, Edu cation, Environment, Family, and Health and Wellness.

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PRIME METAL BUILDINGS STILL STRONGSTANDING Hometown Living At Its Best 49

When folks think of metal they think of longevity. So, it should come as no surprise that a com pany with metal in its name has been around a long time. That company is Prime Metal Buildings and Compo nents, started in 1997 in Dublin by Keith Brown and the late Bud Sakraida. Brown owned and operated a dairy equipment business, while Sakraida had spent the last 50 years designing and constructing dairies throughout the United States. The two had known each other since the 1960s and had worked together on milking equipment and dairy construction throughout the U.S. “When the right opportunity came along, Keith and Bud got together and bought a roll former. With the background that Keith had in the dairy equipment business and that Bud had in the construction business, modern day Prime was born to support the dairy industry and has been on the upward swing By Rick Mauch Photos Provided By Prime Metal Buildings

Over the years, Prime has grown outside of the dairy industry and now is an industry leader in commercial,residentialaviation,agricultural,industrial,equestrian,andbuildings.

ever since,” said the company’s Marketing Director, Ni coleOverPierce.the years, Prime has grown outside of the dairy industry and now is an industry leader in commercial, agricultural, aviation, industrial, equestrian, and resi dential buildings. Today, Prime is still owned and operat ed by Keith Brown alongside his son, Austin Brown. In its humble beginnings in Dublin, Prime was a custom roll forming and trim manufacturer and retail er with stocked components for weld-up buildings and roofing. Since then, Prime has grown to include four re tail locations, a structural steel fabrication shop, a purlin shop, and a complete pre-engineered metal building designThedepartment.Bridgeport location opened in 2000, another in Dumas in 2006, and another expansion into Kerrville in 2020. Prime has grown to include 175-plus employees and 260,000 square feet of manufacturing space produc ing over 25,000 tons of steel per year.

"Since the beginning, integrity and a good solid work ethic has been the basis on which Prime has built over two decades of business on."

While Prime has a large company footprint, Pierce said their culture is still that of a small family business. Their people are the most valued assets, and the company contributes much of its success to them.

What has been the secret to Prime’s longevity and success? Pierce said it’s simple, really. “Prime is a full-service metal building and metal building component manufacturing company. We de sign, engineer, and supply metal buildings and manufac ture everything that goes into a metal building including roof panels, trim, wall panels, purlins, rafters, and col umns. Since the beginning, integrity and a good solid work ethic has been the basis on which Prime has built over two decades of business on,” she said.

“The commitment and heart that the people at Prime put into every project is evident in the end product and what keeps our customers coming back to Prime,” she said. “We believe in serving and treating everyone with respect and building long-lasting relationships along the way.”Among the company’s many successes is busting the myth on barndominiums, the fastest-growing housing trend in the nation. In the beginning, the term referred to houses that people built inside barns and has developed over the years to include metal homes, shop homes, and homes with horse stalls attached.

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Another myth is that barndominiums are signifi cantly cheaper to build than stick-built homes. Pierce said there are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a barndominium, including location, finishes, and is it a bolt-up or weld-up or hybrid (metal and wood frame)? In the past, since financing was not available, many people who chose to build barndominiums did a lot of the work

“The commitment and heart that the people at Prime put into every project is evident in the end product and is what keeps our customers coming back to Prime.”

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“When barndominiums first came on the scene, it was very difficult to get financing for them because banks did not have anything to compare their value to and they could not predict how they would appreciate/depreciate over time,” Pierce said. “Because of this, many people still think securing financing for a barndominium or metal home is difficult if not impossible, but that is simply not the case anymore. Most banks now offer financing for barndominiums the same way they offer financing for a traditional stick-built home.”

themselves and they were able to choose finishes that they were able to cash flow which would make the final costs cheaper. Now, most barndominiums are finished out like a traditional home so the cost is about the same. So that begs the question, if it costs the same to build a barndominium and a traditional stick-built home, why do people choose to build barndominiums? “Barndos are more durable and typically require less maintenance than a traditional build. Prime’s sheet metal is UL (Underwriter Laboratories) rated for fire resistance and impact resistance. For the homeowner, that means they can get significantly lower homeowners insurance rates,” Pierce said. “The painted panels also come with a 40-year warranty on the paint. Barndominiums are easy to customize. You can add just about anything you want to a Piercebarndominium.”saidmore and more people are turning to metal buildings largely because of the versatility. Metal buildings can be used in a wide variety of applications, such as industrial, commercial, agricultural, aviation, dairy, equestrian, and, of course, residential. “These building systems are functional, durable, and "Another critical key to their success is their reputation for a quick turnaround."

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Prime ships nationwide and has even shipped to Ha waii. The average size of a pre-engineered building sold by Prime in 2021 was 43,000 square feet. And the company continues to find new ways to work quicker and more efficiently, Pierce added. “Prime added four welding robots to our structural steel shop in 2021,” she said. ECL "The average size of a pre-engineered building sold by Prime in 2021 was 43,000 square feet."

“All of our larger buildings, such as the dairies you see on our (website) page will be pre-engineered boltups,” Pierce said. While the majority of Prime’s business is dairy build ings, they also do residential, commercial buildings, avia tion hangars, equestrian arenas, and commercial agricul tural barns. They work mostly with general contractors, however, are just as available for any do-it-yourselfers or homeowners.Anothercritical key to their success is their reputa tion for a quick turnaround, Pierce said. “In our industry, providing a quick turnaround time on custom sheets and trim goes hand-in-hand with customer service. The saying ‘Time is money’ rings true, especially for contractors,” she said. “They are losing money and time if they’re waiting on slow turnaround times. We win when they win, so it’s important to us to fill orders promptly and keep everyone on schedule.”

aesthetically pleasing. Some contractors will erect a met al building frame and then put a different type of siding such as stucco, brick, wood, etc. on the outside of the building, so there are actually a lot more metal buildings out there than one would think,” she said. “You really can’t go wrong with a metal building.”

Prime offers two types of metal building systems, pre-engineered metal buildings, which are bolt-together kits, and metal building components for field fabricated weld-up buildings. Weld-up buildings are most com monly used for residential and smaller buildings.

For More Information about Prime Metal Buildings, visit www.primebldg.com

DUBLIN I.S.D. EVERY CHILD. EVERY MINUTE. EVERY DAY. “ community.buildsWebelieveastrongcommunityastrongschool.And,astrongschoolbuildsastrong ”  2 0 1 9 N a t i o n a l B l u e R i b b o n S c h o o l  H i g h e s t A c a d e m i c S c o r e s i n E r a t h C o u n t y  C o m m u n i t y S e r v i c e O r i e n t e d  D e d i c a t e d G T P r o g r a m / C l a s s e s  S t a t e & N a t i o n a l Q u a l i fi e r s  I n t e r n a t i o n a l F P S Q u a l i fi e r s  M u l t i c u l t u r a l L e a r n i n g E n v i r o n m e n t  T u i t i o n A s s i s t e d C o l l e g e C r e d i t & A s s o c i a t e s D e g r e e P r o g r a m s  S t a t e o f t h e A r t A t h l e t i c F a c i l i t i e s  M e n t o r i n g P r o g r a m s • 2019 National Blue Ribbon School • Ranked #20 Among Best Elementary Schools in Texas 2021 • Community Service Oriented • Dedicated GT Program/Classes • State & National Qualifiers • International FPS Qualifiers • Multicultural Learning Environment • Tuition Assisted College Credit & Associates Degree Programs • State of the Art Athletic Facilities • Mentoring Programs 54 Erath County Living

Committed to Academic Excellence Dublin Elementary is oone of 227 schools in TTexas, 3362 in the nnation and the oonly school in Erath County to be recognized as an eexemplary high performance school receiving the prestigious U.S. Department of Education 22019 National Blue Ribbon. "Werecognize andhonoryour important careersworkinpreparingstudentsforsuccessfulandmeaningfullives, ”saidNancy DeVos, United States Secretary of Education, inavideomessageto thehonorees. “As a committedNationalBlueRibbonSchool,yourschooldemonstrateswhatispossiblewheneducatorsholdallstudentsand staffto highstandardsandcreate vibrant, innovative culturesofteachingand learning."DUBLINI.S.D. Administration 420 N. Post Oak, Dublin, Texas 76446 (254) 445-3341 DublinISD.us Hometown Living At Its Best 55

56 Erath County Living

By Peggy Purser Freeman

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It’s a tradition here in S’Ville for players to bleach their hair once they make it deep in the playoffs. When you play sixteen grueling weeks, playing in one of the best districts and regions in all the state you know you have accomplished something really special.

2021 STATE CHAMPS Yellow Jackets 2021

The road to a Texas State Championship ranks at the top of the special memories list for those on the field, in the stands or listening at home.

An invasion of bleach-blond headed boys, an over-thetop football spirit, and a swarm of Yellow Jackets are sure signs of a Stephenville High School state football championship. “It’s a tradition here in S’Ville for players to bleach their hair once they make it deep in the playoffs. When you play sixteen grueling weeks, playing in one of the best districts and regions in all the state you know you have accomplished something re Hometown Living At Its Best

Photos by Amanda Akin Photography

Doty should be proud. Stephenville High School is his alma mater, and he played on the Yellow Jacket 1998 and 1999 state championship teams. He played college football at West Point for two years be fore transferring to the University of Houston, where he played for four years. Doty started his coaching career as Assistant Coach at Abilene Cooper and stayed for seven years, then served as Head Coach at Magnolia for five years. In 2019 Coach Doty became Stephenville High School’s Head Coach. “A Texas high school state championship is one of the most difficult titles in all of sports to capture. August 2021, our kids dove right in and loved doing it. ‘our fam ily unity!’ symbolized what this season was all about. In the state game our kids played better than their best, and our staff did a great job of preparing them. We played "A Texas high school state championship is one of the most difficult titles in all of sports to capture."

ally special.” Head Coach Sterling Doty chuckled. “I’m so proud of our football team and staff for the season we had thisCoachyear.”

58 Erath County Living

our brand of fast, physical football, creating turnovers on defense, making big plays on offense, and winning the Special Teams battle.”

“Leaders Lead” became the motto in the 2021 football season. LL’21 ~ Leaders Lead. Yellow Jacket team leaders led in spirit and action and the team led the school and community to pride and confidence. “We tagged everything we could with LL’21 T-shirts, shorts, signs, etc. Our players led our team and that's what made our group so special. It started with our captains: Reese Young, Coy Eakin, Gavyn Sharp, Corbin Poston, and Ryder Lambert, and then our players bought into it.” These fabulous five captains led a group of determined young men to a 16–0 season. Stephenville was up 24-7 in the third quarter, when the “miracle” play changed everything. LBJ Early College High School came up with an interception near their own end zone. After a short return, Coy Eakin forced a fumble that landed in Ste phenville’s Kallan Kimbrough’s hands. Then Kimbrough rushed for what many call "a wild touchdown unlike any "'Leaders Lead' became the motto in the 2021 football season."

Hometown Living At Its Best 59

"We had playersAcademicthirty-fourAllDistrictinthe2021season."

The Texas Sports Writer’s Association (TSWA) Class 4A all-state football team, titles, and awards for the 2021 season included thirty-two All-District, eighteen All-Re gion, seven Academic All-State, and eight TSWA Class 4A All-State Team. At six feet, five inches and weighing 325 pounds, tackle Logan Davis won All-State First Team Offense. Joining him was wide receiver Coy Eakin. On the All-State Defense Team was linebacker Reese Young. Coy Eakin received the co-offensive player of the year and teammate Reese Young captured the defensive player of the year on the Texas Sports Writer’s Association Class 4A all-state football team. “Even more important is the team’s moral and aca demic accomplishments,” Coach Doty added. “We had thirty-four Academic All District players in the 2021 season. I will certainly remember this team’s love and appreciation for each other. They really enjoyed working hard for each other and holding everyone accountable to the team. With that bond in the off-season and early in Fall Camp, we knew as a staff we had the opportunity to do something special. I also loved the way we attacked adversity. We played in some really tight district and playoff games and our guys never blinked or backed off when things weren’t going our way. They just went back to the basics of doing their job and believing in their teammates to do theirs.”

Stephenville loves their Yellow Jackets and supports their teams like no other. The “Can Fans” create a Friday night noise wall for visiting teams. The Can Fans shaking large tin cans filled with ball bearings are known state wide. Teachers, coaches, and the community formed expectations and this group exceeded those expectations on the field and off. “Every single day as coaches we challenged this team to win the day. At the state play-off game, we asked them to win the year. And that's what the Yellow Jackets did. It took all forty-three of us chopping wood in the same di rection.” We are especially proud of our nineteen seniors. We have a great staff, community, and unbelievable foot ball players. Like Coy Eakin doing Coy Eakin things such as four total touchdowns! Deleted word here. What can you say of his performance?” Texas Tech has a lot to say about Coy Eakin as he heads to Lubbock to become a Red Raider next fall. With one year ending on a super high, coaches must long to keep the glory boys for the next season. But that’s what good high school coaches do. They grow boys into men and then send them out to shine their light on the next field. Coach Doty and the coaching staff look for ward to a 2022 football season with twenty-five returning players—six offensive and six defensive starters. Coach Doty’s hope for these students as they go forth in life is one, we can all echo. “Whatever stage of life you're in, I hope you want to try to bring others along with you to a better place. I think that's what we've done with this group. Not only are they great football players, but they’re also great human beings. They love the Lord and know that good things come to people who work. So many life lessons are learned by being a part of a team. We ask our guys to apply these lessons to their daily lives, so that they can become great husbands, fathers, and citizens.”Theroad to a Texas State Championship ranks at the top of the special memories list for those on the field, in the stands, or listening at home. “The final win” is like no other. High school years are remembered with a smile for almost everyone and high school football is often a big part of those memories. The 2021 State Champion ship supplies a treasure chest of stories to recall at class reunions and excellent life lessons to tell the grandkids. ECL

"Then Kimbrough rushed for what many call "a wild touchdown unlike any other you’ve seen and the Yellow Jackets captured their sixth state championship."

other you’ve seen” and the Yellow Jackets captured their sixth state championship—their first in almost a decade.

60 Erath County Living

"Not only are they great football players, but they’re also great human beings. They love the Lord and know that good things come to people who work."

Hometown Living At Its Best 61

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A Beautiful Practice FOR ALL YOUR DENTAL NEEDS Cleanings • Exams • Oral Cancer • Screenings • Crowns • Bridges • Cosmetic Dentistry Root Canals • Fillings Extractions • Partials Dentures • Teeth Whitening DAVID STANPHILL, DDS | STEPHANIE CERVETTO, DDS 2541 Northwest Loop Stephenville, TX stephenvillefamilydentistry.com 254.968.4433StephenvilleFamilyDentistry

64 Erath County Living

I was all smiles and celebration on the inside, relishing living in a community that cares about the little things. Staying God reminded me of the importance of maintaining my spiritual health with diligent care. If I let my faith practices fall to the wayside, I could find myself looking at an equally neglected spiritual walk. with God

Early morning runs on the trails of Parker County are my jam. I take time to pray and process as I run, God often speaking to me through my surroundings, natural and oth erwise. I see friends walking, taking a break from the indoor pressures of computer screens and phone calls. I see families having fun, traveling park to park on bikes and skateboards and roller skates. We all come to experience fresh air and friendship. Our trail system is the best! Being the trail lover I am, I rejoiced when as I saw the trail come to life with an intentional landscaping-blooming crepe myrtles, waving ornamental grasses, and other fabulous plants to line the Parker County path and bring beauty to our community. Be still my heart! I was all smiles and celebration on the inside, relishing living in a community that cares about the littleTypically,things. the city maintains the trail and be re moving fallen branches from the path, trimming the low-hanging vines, and cleaning the occasional teen spray paint remnants from the night before. But this morning my attention was caught by an unkempt tree. And then another. I noticed every plant was over grown, branches shooting every which way and grass es remaining untrimmed from past seasons. What was once beautiful was now neglected and forgotten, another causality of too much to maintain with not enough time to maintain it.

BoldlyBelieve

BY ERICA WILLIS | BELIEVEBOLDLY.COM Connected Be still my heart!

- Erica Willis

First, pray and read your Bible daily. Not only when you feel like it or when it is convenient, but every single day.Second, invite accountability from a wise friend or pastor. They are there to encourage you to keep going when you want to quit!

Third, humbly ask God to keep bringing new spiri tual gifts and experiences with Him. When we see God’s power in action it is hard to find it boring. It may feel you don’t have the time, but I know we can do this if we ask God to help us. That’s why He is there, to make us strong when we are weak. I can’t wait to see how great your heart looks this coming spring, when we (and the trail) begin to bloom new and fresh again! ECL

Now listen-- I’m not one to judge. Don’t dare look at my backyard landscaping and mistakenly think I have the perfect green thumb! But I couldn’t help but see the connection between the overgrown trail and my own spiritual walk. As I ran the rest of the path, God remind ed me of the importance of maintaining my spiritual health with diligent care. If I let my faith practices fall to the wayside, I could find myself looking at an equally neglected spiritual walk. The physical path and my spir itual path both require intentional care and time. Both will eventually lose the beauty of their original design if not properly cared for.

Colossians 1:23 says, “But you must continue to be lieve this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the GoodDidNews.”youcatch that? We must CONTINUE. It’s not one and done. It’s not praying for salvation and waiting for the “glory days” of heaven. Salvation was purposed for the here-and-now as well as heaven. It is in the prom ise of the Holy Spirit living in us that we find power and peace every day! We must persist through hardship and cultivate the groundwork of the gospel daily. We stay strong in our relationship with God by making space for Him to challenge and celebrate us. Think of it this way: We would never buy a car and re fuse to change the oil. We would never purchase a home and never clean it. We would never get married and not talk to our spouse each day. Yet our salvation is our most valuable possession and many of us fail to care for it as such! Our salvation may be secure, but what if our rela tionship with God is overgrown and neglected? It’s time to take inventory of our own faith and take intentional steps to maintain our passion, hope and connection with God.

It’s not praying for salvation and waiting for the “glory days” of heaven. Salvation was purposed for the here-and-now as well as heaven. Yet our salvation is our most valuable possession and many of us fail to care for it as such!

Waco

Deep in the Heart of Texas

The Cameron Park Zoo is adjacent to the Brazos River and sits on 52 acres of lush native vegetation with surrounding waterfalls, a lake, and ponds. More than 1,730 animals reside amongst the natural habitats and close-up encounters at the zoo and represent 300 species!

By Lindsay L. Allen In a state filled with beautiful landscapes, people of all backgrounds, festivals to celebrate every occasion and unique sunsets painting every evening skyline, one never has to leave the state of Texas to create memories that last forever. Join us as we explore Texas towns and what makes them so special.

66 Erath County Living

A decade ago you might have only thought of Waco, Texas as a “pass through” town, but today a dozen associations are made when you hear of this city.

Over the last few years, the city of Waco has become not just a charming tourist town, but a wildly popular and mildly famous one too.

ATTRACTIONS

A decade ago you might have only thought of Waco, Texas as a “pass through” town, but today a dozen associations are made when you hear of this city. While most of today’s tourist are trying to run into Chip and Joanna Gaines, there are a number of other fun ways to spend your day in this town situated between Dallas and Austin.

Hometown Living At Its Best 67

The BSR Cable Park & Surf Resort features four extreme water slides, the world’s longest lazy river, championship cable wake boarding and a world class surf pool.

If you didn’t get your “animal” fix at the zoo, the National Park Service operates the Waco Mammoth National Monument. With a dig shelter, tours about the Ice Age, fossil discovery and information about important paleontolog ical sites in North America, the museum offers a wide variety of ways to learn and experience more about 20,000-pound mammoths that used to roam in present-day Texas.

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum is the official historical center of the Texas Rangers and seeks to educate and preserve the legendary symbol of Texas and the American West. The museum documents the service of the Texas Rangers, past and present, and has over two centuries worth of artifacts on exhibit.

Need a place to cool off and enjoy the Texas heat? The BSR Cable Park & Surf Resort features four extreme water slides, the world’s longest lazy river, championship cable wake boarding and a world class surf pool! Plus, the property has hotel rooms and cabins and cabanas all waiting for you to book your stay! In 1989 the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company, which was the first building dedicated to the manufacturing of Dr Pepper and built in 1906, became the Dr Pepper Muse um and eventually the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute. The Museum’s mission

If you are still looking for a way to spend the day in the out doors, consider a stop at Lake Waco Wetlands. The wetlands were created to mitigate the habitat loss when Lake Waco was raised by seven feet in the year 2000 and now offer 3.5 miles of nature trails for hiking, bird watching and photography.

Another popular spot is the Waco Riverwalk, which fea tures almost seven miles of lighted trails along both banks of the Brazos River, stretching from Baylor University to Cameron Park and underneath Suspension Bridge. The historic Suspen sion Bridge was completed in 1870 and is an icon of downtown Waco. For years, the bridge served as a Chisholm Trail crossing, and at the time of its completion, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi.

FAMILY FUN For a relaxing outdoor experience, stop by Cameron Park, one of the largest municipal parks in Texas. The park is covered in trees, situated along two rivers, features cliffs and a National Recreation Trail system. Be it hiking, biking, fishing, disc golf, picnicking or just a stroll along the river, the park is the best spot to visit when in Waco!

is to educate and entertain the general public through the collection, preservation, interpretation, and exhibition of objects relevant to the history of the soft drink industry, and through that example, the free enterprise economic system.From making a soda, to tasting sodas, VIP experi ences, a liquid lab and more, soda lovers of all ages will enjoy their visit (and the complimentary soda included withTheadmission).TexasSports Hall of Fame & Museum is home of more than 300 Texas legends. The museum opened its doors in 1993 and features over 6,000 pieces of sports memorabilia to honor and preserve the legacies of Texas sports heroes. From high school football to the Southwest conference to the Tom Landy Theater, Earl Campbell Library every sports lover will find something they can connect with as the exhibits highlight all sports, dating back to the inaugural induction class of 1951. If you are still looking for a way to spend the day in the outdoors, consider a stop at Lake Waco Wetlands. Of course, no stop in Waco is complete without visiting the Magnolia Silos, made famous by Chip and Joanna.

Of course, no stop in Waco is complete without visiting the Magnolia Silos, made famous by Chip and Joanna. From shopping to eating, family fun and special events, the Silos have it all! The lawn of the Magnolia Market offers spacious seating, lawn sized games and special events with food trucks, live music, and artisan markets.

Hometown Living At Its Best 69

All menu items are worth trying, but consider starting with the I-CheeWa-Wa, The King, Fuego Steak or El Presidente and don’t forget to try the homemade pickles from the salsa bar.

For a quick, but absolutely divine, bite to eat, add Fuego Tortilla Grill to the itinerary. With fresh ingredients, amazing queso, and 24-hour service your taste buds will be on over drive.

WHEN IN WACO

If you are a fan of the popular Fixer Upper show, you can find several homes featured on the show that are available for rent on sites like Vrbo and Airbnb. But don’t think you can book any of these homes at last minute; as you can imagine they are in high demand by tourist.

WHERE TO STAY

The Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat is located on Baylor University’s campus and dates back to the first bear’s arrival in 1917. Representing the spirit of the university, the bear den is home to two black bears and is free to view!

Centrally located and beaming with endless opportuni ties for fun and memories, the city of Waco is worth adding to your bucket list. ECL

• Relax Inn • The Cottage* • Marmalade Station* • The White Pine Cottage At Clay House* *AirBnB Experience time travel… …in Dublin! Shop! • Things Celtic • Little Authors • Blessings/Merle Norman • Bargain Furniture • Wicked Clover • Golden Butterfly Jewelers • Dublin Floral Company • Interior Dimensions • Will Do Good Thrift Store • Velasco Car Audio • Lucky Vineyards • Lucky Brewing Company • Thompson's Meats • Bradberry's Best • Veldhuizen Cheese Shoppe • Brookshire Brothers Come to Dublin, Texas, and visit our three fabulous museums: The Dublin Historical Museum, The Dublin Rodeo Museum, and The Ben Hogan Museum. Take a journey through time and see for yourself the people, places, and events that are still giving Dublin its character today. Enjoy hearing the stories that change still images to living lessons. Wander through the years, hear the conversations, and get to know Dublin like never before. While you’re here, check out the places to eat and shop…then maybe stay awhile! dublintxedc.com (254) dublintxedc@gmail.com445-1919 dublintxchamber.com (254) dublintxchamber.comchamberdirector@300-6263 away!walkaDining’sshortEat! • Granny Clark’s • Blackjack’s Coffee Shop • Milano’s Pizza • Taqueria El Rio Y Mariscos • The Deer Lease Bar & Grill • El Rinconcito • Red Barrel Bar & Grill • Market Latina • Lucky Nutrition • Sonic • Dairy Queen • Golden Chick • Chigger Ranch • Dublin Donuts • Calvary Fellowship Tacos • The Dublin Stop • Big’s Convenience Store 70 Erath County Living

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Hometown Living At Its Best 73

And now, as folks prepare to celebrate her 50th birthday, she looks better than ever thanks to a makeover donated by Hunter Body Works in Stephenville. While she has been repainted in the past, and even had her tail re-attached fol lowing an attack of vandalism, this is the first time the old gal has had total body work of this scale. “As a child, I remember Moo-La standing proud on the square. She represented the heart and soul of our communi ty,” said DairyMAX Program Coordinator Kim Harris. “I can remember shopping with my grandmother at JC Penney’s, walking to her car that was parked near Moo-La, and being extremely proud of my heritage.”

With all due respect to Raymond, everyone loves Moo-La. Anyone who has ever passed through Downtown Stephen ville is familiar with Moo-La. She’s the fiberglass cow that sits up high on the square, greeting all and reminding everyone of the area’s great dairy heritage.

By Rick Mauch Photos provided by Julie Smith

Moo-La is the fiberglass cow that sits up high on the square, greeting all and reminding everyone of the area’s great dairy heritage. The dairy diva has stood in tribute to the local dairy industry at the center of the Erath County seat for five decades.

DELIGHTMoo-LaisbackTOTHEOFFANS

Stephenville Tourism and Visitors Bureau Manager Julie SmithThesaid.late Joyce and Tom Whitis erected the beloved fiberglass bovine on Sept. 23, 1972, in reverence to the industry which has served as the bread and the butter for many area families. Joyce’s longtime support and participation in the dairy business, as well as her own efforts, made Moo-La possible as a monument to honor local dairy farmers. On the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce website is a history of Moo-La written by Whitis, which recalls that on the morning of Moo-La’s debut, local dairy barn contractor Kenneth Evatt brought her to the square and she placed on the prepared pedestal. Later, County Judge L.L. Martin removed the black plastic covering to unveil the legendary statue, which was followed by an all-day party featuring free ice cream for everyone, along with a country western band, short speeches on the growth of the dairy industry and drawings for prizes of dairy foods.

In the fall of 1972, the dairy industry brought $10 mil lion to the economy and Moo-la was nicknamed the $10 Million Cow. One side of a sign below her read, “This is Dairy Country” and the other side read “Moo-la $10,000,000 Cow.” Her fame quickly spread. In 1973 several Frenchmen who had read about Moo-la in a French publication, visited Stephenville. Some dairymen from Holland also visited.Bythe mid-80s Erath County became the top milk producing county in the state and was number 10 in the nation.“Like those, my family is in the dairy business as well,” Smith said. “‘Smells like money,’ my Uncle Bob would always say when we rode with him to look at the cows. “Moo-La represents the pioneering spirit of our hard working dairy farmers, as well as the ongoing innova tions that continue to contribute to this industry. Many of our dairy families are second, third and fourth gener ation. In our case, my cousin, Shana Crouch is actually a fifth generation dairy woman, and we are quite proud of her for carrying on our family’s dairy legacy since 1883.”

Originally, a sign beneath Moo-La kept a tally of the “As a child, I remember Moo-La standing proud on the square. She represented the heart and soul of our community.”

The dairy diva has stood in tribute to the local dairy industry at the center of the Erath County seat for five decades.Atone time, Erath County was a major milk produc er at the state and national level. “Moo-La stands in solidarity with the values instilled in our area youth through FFA, 4-H and our local and county livestock associations. Her spirit rides along with the milk trucks that carry milk across our country,”

"At one time, Erath County was a major milk producer at the state and national level."

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Clynt Hunter and his team at Hunter Body Works did the complete restoration of the popular fiberglass bovine at no charge in honor of her upcoming 50th birthday.

Hometown Living At Its Best 75

impact of the local dairy industry. Now, she stands as a symbol of that proud heritage, along with a popular stop for passersby to grab a unique photo to post on social media.“Asour unofficial mascot, she has quite a following,” Smith“Seeingsaid.Moo-La has always made me proud to be in a family that has been dairy farming since 1886,” said Shana Crouch from Crouch Dairy in Dublin.

Initially their plan was to sand her down and give her a few fresh coats of paint. However, once they started sanding, they realized the bad shape Moo-La was in structurally. The fiberglass was cracking, seams were separating, and her tail and ears had been broken off and patched back on. A complete makeover was in order. “Clynt and his team treated her like their own, caring for her just like any of their vehicle customers. They sanded her down, repaired the body, primed her with four coats of polyester primer to protect her, and then followed with four coats of paint. They were careful not to rush the process in order to get the quality results,” Smith said.

In March Moo-La was transported back to her perch with a full police and fire escort. She was carefully hoist ed back to her post and welded back in place.

Moo-La’s popularity goes well beyond Stephenville and Erath County. She is even included in the Smith sonian Institute’s outdoor art inventory, Save Outdoor Sculpture! SOS was established in 1990 to help educate local communities about America’s endangered sculp turalMoo-La’sheritage.likeness is also registered with the Library of Congress and has been featured in many magazines and on the web as a popular roadside attraction. Every summer Moo-La is honored with her very own festival in the Stephenville City Park on the first week end in June to kick off National Dairy Month. This year’s event is scheduled for June 3-4 and will feature hot air balloons, live music, a carnival, food trucks, artisan vendors, and more. And, because she turns 50 this year, a special celebra tion is scheduled for Sept. 23 on the anniversary of her "In the fall of 1972, the dairy industry brought $10 million to the economy and Moo-la was nicknamed the $10 Million Cow."

"By the mid-80s Erath County became the top milk producing county in the state and was number 10 in the nation."

76 Erath County Living

Hometown Living At Its Best 77

dedication. It will also feature live music, a street dance and“Growingmore. up in Erath County, Moo-La has always been a symbol of the family dairy industry. I later understood more when Joyce Whitis called me when her health was declining to take care of Moo-La when she was gone,” Erath County Fire Marshal Tommy Shelton said. “Her passion for it and this community made me understand the true meaning of that cow.” No doubt Whitis would be proud to see how folks are tending to her beloved Moo-La. And now that the trea sured mascot has been made to look like new, don’t ex pect her to go anywhere. Smith anticipates a half century from now the area will be celebrating as Moo-La becomes a centenarian - and even beyond that. “I certainly hope so,” she said with excitement. “The team at Hunter Bodyworks have made sure of that.” ECL "And, because she turns 50 this year, a special celebration is scheduled for Sept. 23 on the anniversary of her dedication."

CJ’s Spurs -N- Thangs “The Cowboy Capital Consignment Store” (254)(254)431-8737431-87371060 E STEPHENVILLE,WASHINGTONTX76401 78 Erath County Living

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Garden, his crowd favorites were actually Hall-of-Fame cowgirls like Tad Lucas and Alice Greenough. “He liked having lady bronc riders and trick riders in his show and they were definitely favored at a Johnson rodeo,” recalled Tad Lucas’ daughter Mitzi Lucas Riley, according to Gail Hughbanks Woerner in The Cowboys’ Turtle Association: The Birth of Professional Rodeo.

In order to compete, the world’s best cowgirls had to pay membership dues like the men to join the newfound Cowboys’ Turtle Association (named for how slow they were to stick their necks out). However, the girls were labeled “honorary” members and not given a vote like the Then,men. as soon as they demanded their mount money from a Cleveland producer, not only were they not given it, but the Turtles wouldn’t help them get it. According to Turtles leader and Hall-of-Fame cowboy Everett Bow man, cowgirls would just “have to stand on their own feet and sit in their own saddles” (Woerner 2011). So, in 1948, they did. Disgruntled with the way

Early-day rodeos evolved on the heels of wild-west shows as a mix of entertainment and competition. Since event producers and elite ropers were both out to make money, the only way cowboys could force producers to offer bigger purses was to walk out – over and over – for decades. It was an infamous 1936 strike by rodeo contestants in Boston that finally boosted payoffs for good and led to the organization of rodeo as a professionalFast-forwardsport.to December 2021, when Hall-ofFame roper Lari Dee Guy of Abilene, noticed the advertised purse for women’s roping at an upcoming PRCA rodeo was just 17 percent of what the other events would pay. “We were in a huff,” admitted Hope Thompson, another world champion cowgirl raised in Atlanta, Texas. “It was like, let’s just raise the money our selves!” And they did what’s never been done in professional rodeo. Novel but nothing new Few people realize that, back in ’36 when the cow boys walked out on Colonel W.T. Johnson at Boston Hall-of-Fame roper Lari Dee Guy of Abilene, noticed the advertised purse for women’s roping at an upcoming PRCA rodeo was just 17 percent of what the other events would pay. ”We were in a huff,” admitted Hope Thompson, another world champion cowgirl raised in Atlanta, Texas. ”It was like, let’s just raise the money ourselves!”

”It was like, let’s just raise the money ourselves!” And they did what’s never been done in professional rodeo. Hometown Living At Its Best 81

By Julie Mankin Photos by RC Photography

Texas Cowgirls Find New Ways to Overcome 85-year Struggle

Fighting for equALity

In 1967, a committeeman in Oklahoma City agreed to include the WPRA barrel racing with the NFR, for just $1,000 prize money. Finally in 1998 – literally another 20 years later – women’s barrel racing paid the same amount as the men’s events at the NFR in Las Vegas. “From the very beginning, women have stuck their necks out for equality with varying degrees of success,” according to the website of the WPRA. “Those women’s refusal to take ‘no’ for an answer serves to inspire future generations to recognize and harness the potential of women in rodeo.”

they were being treated in the male-dominated sport; they formed their own Girls’ Rodeo Association (GRA). Meanwhile, at Turtle rodeos (now PRCA rodeos), com mittees were given the option of choosing which girls’ event they would include. Most opted for barrel racing. The GRA became today’s Women’s Professional Ro deo Association (WPRA), and its barrel racing became a standard event at PRCA rodeos. When the PRCA hosted the first National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Dallas in 1959, it didn’t include the barrel racing championships. Those were held elsewhere – for the next eight years.

82 Erath County Living

Cowgirl movement Remarkably in just the past couple of years, the WPRA has seen breakaway – featured for more than 40 years in up to 20 other rodeo associations – included at PRCA rodeos. The past two NFRs, however, have not in cluded the breakaway championships, which have been held elsewhere for a purse of $200,000. Standard events at the NFR, held in Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center, each boast a purse of $1.2 million. Last season marked the second year that the PRCA’s Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo in Waco, also in December, included women’s breakaway. That’s the rodeo that would According to Turtles leader and Hall-of-Fame cowboy Everett Bowman, cowgirls would just ”have to stand on their own feet and sit in their own saddles.”

Hometown Living At Its Best 83

And 17-time world champion JJ Hampton of Stephenville started sharing Facebook posts, hoping business owners might need some end-of-year write-offs.

Last season marked the second year that the PRCA’s Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo in Waco, also in December, included women’s breakaway.

“They were texting me, asking how much they’d need for their purse to be equal, and I told them,” said long time PRCA rodeo secretary Mikey Duggan. “And then it just starts pouring in. It blew my mind. Five gals did all this within 24 hours.”

Bill Fick, who owns Bill Fick Ford in Huntsville, doubled what Hampton asked for, while owners of horse farms, horse trading websites and even horse feed and apparel stepped right up. Elite Texas cowgirls like Weatherford’s Martha Angelone and Dublin’s Kelsie Domer joined Hampton, Guy, and Thompson in the effort to raise enough to also cover the 6% by-laws dictated be given to the sanctioning association.

Instead of staging a strike like her forebears, Guy im mediately circulated a group text message about the defi cit to the other Texas breakaway ropers. They rolled their sleeves up. Each of their personal sponsors got on board.

For Cinch Jeans’ Director of Marketing Jessica Wahlert, the choice to add the money was simply about doing what’s“We’reright.excited that breakaway ropers are seeing new opportunities, but the opportunities are with contin gencies right now,” Wahlert said. “We want be a part of making sure the athletes who are competing now are able to rope for the same big money provided in the other events.”

offer the girls a purse of $3,000, compared to $17,500 in other events. When administrators had divvied up dol lars from national rodeo sponsors as added money in each event, they’d left breakaway out.

“It’s amazing how many people were behind us. We came up with this money our own, from people who believe in the future of women in rodeo. We shouldn’t have to do it—we’ve got jobs and horses to train and calves to rope.”

“I don’t like asking people for money, but at the end of the day, if somebody doesn’t step up and be a leader and help us get this done, nobody will,” said Hampton.

Hustlin’ Duggan used the extra donations to buy a trophy saddle and arena banners promoting the last-minute sponsors, while $2,500 still sits in a bank account await ing the 2022 event. Last season, lady ropers in the Pacific northwest and Montana also raised extra funds to offset missing national sponsor money at their PRCA circuit finals. But none were able to raise as much as did the Tex ans. Those ladies’ unprecedented effort caught the entire rodeo off-guard, and the Waco committee has expressed a desire to divvy things up differently next time.

“These girls made it clear they’re here to take care of business,” Duggan said. “They generally do their work in the arena. But they turned that hustle toward having equal money.”

At the end of just one day, the cowgirls had accidentally raised more than the amount needed for equity – they received around $23,000.

“Then when we showed up at the rodeo, they told us we can’t rope for more than the other contestants,” Thompson said. “We thought, ‘Well, y’all were sure going to let us rope for less.’”

”And then it just starts pouring in. It blew my mind. Five gals did all this within 24 hours.”

One cowgirl got animal feed giant Purina to donate a ton of feed that she raffled, while the practice device Nothin’ But Neck, which supports Guy’s “Rope Like A Girl” movement, made a considerable donation. Another cowgirl enticed her home-state dealership, Croft Country Chevrolet in Alva, Oklahoma, to add to the cause.

84 Erath County Living

For more details or to join the movement, you can email thejjhampton@yahoo.com or larideeguy@aol.com. ECL ”These girls made it clear they’re here to take care of business.”

“When the event is this popular and it’s so exciting to be involved, you can’t help but want to help them,” admit ted Duggan. “They’re a good bunch of ladies.”

Thompson said it’s not fame they’re after. It’s equal money in Las Vegasa $1.2 million NFR purse that will grow the event and increase the fan base.

Being paid equally at PRCA rodeos has been on Guy and Hampton’s agenda for a few years. Guy hopes that their raising some $20,000 on a Sunday will show PRCA leadership, and the sport as a whole, what can be done. “If we could raise that much in one day, what if it happened for 364 more days?” she asked. “And that was just a few of us. If everyone got on board, how much more money could we put into our National Finals? Would they really be able to keep us out of the Thomas & Mack with that kind of sponsor support and added money?”

The potential payoff for sponsors is great. Businesses are approaching female ropers to wrap their tour buses, while internet and TV coverage of their events has soared. A CBS broadcast last fall of the Women’s Rodeo World Championships, produced by the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA), drew a staggering 2.3 million viewers.Thompson said it’s not fame they’re after. It’s equal money in Las Vegas – a $1.2 million NFR purse that will grow the event and increase the fan base. Hampton’s well-known zeal for winning has already breathed new life into pro rodeo, while audience polls cite breakaway as a fan favorite. It seems the lure of the world’s best cowgirls is just as strong as it was in ’36. Today, “sitting in their own sad dles” means cowgirls have sponsors rallying around them – especially female entrepreneurs in male-dominated industries who have also grown tired of hearing “no.”

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GREAT AMERICAN LONE STAR RANCH (541) 531-9100 Kids Can Cook Academy & Real Farm Adventure Wednesdays & Thursdays by Ages:Reservation5-17yrs. old (9 AM-1 PM) Cost: $95 per kidscancook.info/academychild LITTLE DUBLINAUTHORS (254) Children’s335-0156Writing Workshop May 19-21 – Pirate Pete and His Crew of Misfits June 9-11 – Mystery of Pearl JulyIsland27-29 – Mission to Mars Age: 6+ (10 AM – 3 PM) Cost: Participants$50 will learn the creative writing process and collaborate to write and illustrate a book. Register at littleauthors.shop SUMMER DAY CAMP Morning Sessions: (10 AM–2 PM) June 2, June 15, June 22, July 12, July 30, & August 4 Afternoon Sessions: (1 PM-3 PM) June 3, June 16, June 23, July 6, July 7, & August 5 Age: 4+ and Potty-trained Cost: Activities$20 include a redi-made book, a craft, and an activity or game. Parents are welcome to stay. Register littleauthors.shopat LONE STAR FAMILY FARM Sunflower Daze: Flowers, Food & Fun May 21-23, May 28-30, June sunflower-dazelonestarfamilyfarm.com/4-6 PINSPIRATION (254) Pinspiration434-2453Summer Camps Ages: 4+ Time: 9 AM–12 PM Cost: 1 Day - $45, 2 Days$80, 3 Days - $115 June 15-17 The Great Outdoors June 22-24 The Hero Within Me July 13-15 Go for the Gold July 27-29 Under the Big stephenvillepinspiration.com/locations/Top SKY HIGH SPORTS (563) Summer343-2755Skills Clinics Sunday – Wednesday in June & July Ages: 10-18 yrs. Cost: $20 per session Sessions capped at 12 athletes Register skillsskyhighstephenville.com/at MAX REPS PREP CAMP July (5:30–7:306-7 PM) Cost Prepare$100your athlete for middle school volleyball at Max Reps Camp Register activitiesAllmaxrepsskyhighstephenville.com/atSkyHighsummerareheldatSkyHigh 2870Gym,FM skyhighstephenville.com914 SPARD (STEPHENVILLE PARKS & REC.) (254) 918-1295 2022 Summer Camp Every week Monday, May 24 - Friday, August 13 Time: 7:30 AM – 6 PM Ages: Pre-K – 12 yrs. Cost: $85 per week, $5 discount for each additional child. Camp will be held at SPARD Rec Hall. SWIM LESSONS June 8-18, June 22-July 2, July 6-16, July 20-30, & August Different3-13 class times for age divisions Ages: >5 – 17 Cost: $55 Register recpro.stephenvilletx.govat STAR COUNCIL (254) 965-5515 All Star Camp (June 15 & June 16) Time: 8 AM – 5 PM Ages: 3rd - 5th Cost: Free CAMP LEADERSHIPGUTS CAMP (June 17) Time: 8 AM – 5 PM Ages: 6th - 8th Cost: Free BOSQUE SAFARI CAMP (July 26 & July 28) Time: 8 AM – 5 PM Ages: starcouncil.orgbeforepre-registeredforSnacksCost:(MustK-2ndbepotty-trained)Freeandlunchprovidedallcamps.Mustbeforallcampsdateofevent. STEPHENVILLE DANCE CENTER (254) 977-3772 Hip Hop & Jazz Camp June 14-18 (10 AM – 12 PM) Ages: 7-10 Cost: $75 BARBIE BALLET CAMP June 21-25 (10 – 11 AM) July Ages:5-93-6 Cost: $50 LYRICAL & JAZZ CAMP June 28 - July 2 (10 AM – 12 PM) Ages: 7-10 Cost: $75 HIP HOP & LYRICAL CAMP July 12-16 (10 AM – 12 PM) Ages: 7-10 Cost: $75 BALLET TECHNIQUE CAMP July 19-23 (10 – 11:30 AM) Ages: 7-10, Cost: $75 Punch Card Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for dancers 11 and up. Each class is $15. The schedule for the week will be posted on our Facebook page each stephenvilledancecenter.comMonday. Hometown Living At Its Best 89

HISTORICALSTEPHENVILLEMUSEUM (254) SHHM.orgRegister2+FamilyCost:Ages:Thursday:9:00MondayMayCamp965-5880Pioneer,30–June3–Wednesday:AM-12:00PM9AM-1:00PM1st–5th$75perchilddiscountforchildren@$50achildat254-977-3687 STEPHENVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY (254) 918-1240 Texas Summer Reading EventsProgrambegin at 2:00 PM June 3 - SPL hosts the Stephenville Fire and Police JuneDept.10 - “Dino Dig” with Zach from Dinosaur Valley JunePark 17 - SPL presents Jim Kirby: Magic and Juggling June 24 - Visit TSU Planetarium with SPL RSVP FacebookMoreCreatureJulyKahuraJulyRequiredwithJulyJulyRequired1-“Dragonathon”8-ArtsandcraftsCTFACatSPLRSVP22-SPLhostsElizabeth29-SPLhoststheTeachereventsontheLibrarypage! STUDIO 6:14 DANCE (254) Princess434-1114Adventures Camp Camp 1: June 7-11 Camp 2: July 5-9 (9 AM – 12 PM) Ages 3+ Cost: $65 POPSTAR CAMP June 14-18 (9 AM – 12 PM) Ages 5+ Cost: $65 ADVENTURE TIME CAMP July 5-9 (9 AM – 12PM) Ages 5+ Cost: $65 FROZEN 2 MUSICAL THEATER July 19-23 (9 AM – 12 PM) Ages 5+ Cost: $65 ALADDIN CAMP July 26-30 (9 AM – 12 PM) Ages 5+ Cost: $65 Register online studio614.danceat TEXAS TWISTERS (254) 968-FLIP (3547) Tumbling, Trampoline, Strength, and Flexibility JuneCamps3-4, June 24-25, July 1516, & July 22-23 Cost: $65 per child, $45 for siblings Call to register or message their Facebook page! VELDHUIZEN CHEESE (254) 968-3098 Farm Tours, Every Saturday, 10:30 am & 1:30 pm Cheese-Making Tour, Every Thursday, veldhuizencheese.com/toursNoon EVENTSCOMMUNITY MOO-LA FEST June Stephenville3-5, City Park Enjoy the magic of colorful hot air balloons, twilight balloon glows, a carnival, live udderlymusic, epic fun run, artisan vendors, delicious food, dairy activities and bit.ly/MooLaFest2021more! INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION Held on Saturday, July 3 Stephenville City Park 9 AM – Parade Entries must register by June 1130 AM – Splashville Opens BBQ Cook-Off & Classic Car Show hosted by Elks Lodge Grub Zone with Food Trucks 8 PM – Texstar Ford Summer 10ConcertPM– Fantastic bit.ly/SvilleJuly4th2022Fireworks SISD CAMPSSUMMER Find all camp forms on SISD website, sville.us GIRLS BASKETBALL CAMP Stephenville High School (April Grades26-28)K-6th: 4– 5:30 PM GIRLS SOCCER CAMP Lem Brock Field, HJH (May Grades10-12)K-6th: 4:30– 6 PM BOYS CAMPBASKETBALL Stephenville High School (May Grades24-26)1st– 5th: 8 – 9 AM Grades 6th – 9th: 10 AM – 12 PM BOYS SOCCER CAMP Lem Brock Field, HJH (May Grades27-29)K–6th: 8 – 10 AM Grades 7th – 9th: 11 AM – 1 PM FOOTBALL CAMP SHS Practice Fields & Green Room (June 3-5) Grades 1st – 5th: 9 AM – 12 PM Grades 6th – 8th: 1 PM – 4 PM GIRLS BASKETBALL CAMP Stephenville High School (June 7 – 9) Grades 1st – 6th: 8 - 10 AM Grades 7th – 9th: 10 AM – 12 PM BASEBALL CAMP Stephenville High School (June 14-16) Grades 1st – 4th: 9:30 – 11:30 AM Grades 5th – 8th: 12:30 – 3 PM VOLLEYBALL CAMP Stephenville High School (June Grades14-16)1st– 5th: 9 – 11 AM Grades 6th – 9th: 12 – 3 PM 90 Erath County Living

SOFTBALL CAMP SHS Softball Field (June Grades17-18)3rd– 9th: 9 AM – 12 PM FRESHMAN FOOTBALL CAMP July 26-28, 9th grade (SISD Athletes): 10 AM – 12 PM SUMMER STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING June 1st – July 28th, 7th –12th grades (SISD Athletes) CAMPSTARLETON FOOTBALL CAMPS texansfootballcamps.com "LITTLE FOOTBALLTEXANS”CAMP (254) 968-9518 June 1-3, Ages: 5 yrs.-12 yrs or entering 7th grade 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Cost: $120 ONE DAY FOOTBALL CAMP (254) Ages:CampCamp968-95181:June122:July10Sophomores – Seniors in High School 1:00 - 5:00 PM Cost: $40 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS CAMP (254) 968-9518 July Ages:23,Sophomores – Seniors in High School 6:00 - 9:00 PM Cost: $40 VOLLEYBALL CAMPS tarletonvolleyballcamps.com ELITE CAMPVOLLEYBALL (254) CampCamp968-95421:July162:July23 (9 AM–7:30 Ages:PM) 9th – 12th Cost: $100 FUNDAMENTALSVOLLEYBALL CAMP (254) Ages:CampCamp968-95421:July172:July241st–8th,9 AM–7:30 PM Cost: $100 TENNIS CAMPS 24,Junetarletontenniscamps.com15-18,July6-9,July21-Ages:K-12th BASKETBALL CAMPS WOMEN: tarletonwbkcamp.com, MEN: texanbasketballcamp. com BASKETBALLWOMEN'S TEAM (254) 968-9132 June 4-5 Ages: High School JV and Varsity Cost: $600/ team FUNDAMENTALBASKETBALLWOMEN'S (254) 968-9132 June 7-9, Ages: 4th - 12th Cost: $250 (8 AM–8 PM Mon. – Tues., 8 AM–5 PM Wed.) WOMEN'S BASKETBALLELITECAMP (254) Ages:(8:00CampCamp968-91321:June102:June30AM–5:00PM)9th-12thCost: $50 MINIBASKETBALLWOMEN'SCAMP (254) 968-9132 June 14-16 (8 AM–12 PM) Ages: K – 4th Cost: $125 provides instruction in all basketball fundamentals including shooting, ball handling, scoring situations, defense & rebounding. Campers will compete against players in their own age group. MEN'S PROSPECTBASKETBALLCAMP (979) 218-0577 June 2 (1:30 - 6 PM) Graduating Seniors Only, Cost: $75 June 3 (1:30 - 6 PM) 9th-12th graders, Cost: $75 MEN'S BASKETBALL DAY CAMP (979) 218-0577 June 21-23, July 26-28 Cost: Grades$1751st-6th (9 AM - Noon) Registration at 8 AM Grades 7th-12th (1:30 - 4:30 PM) Registration at 12:30 PM BASEBALL CAMPS texanbaseballcamps.com YOUTH BASEBALL CAMP (254) Ages:(9CampCamp968-16661:June7-92:August2-4AM–12PM)3rd–8thCost: $100 Camp staff will emphasize hitting, fielding, base running, and fundamentalsthrowingthroughdrills, proper practice techniques, and game situations. Campers will be divided by age for games and drills. 2022 PROSPECTTEXANCAMP (254) CampCamp968-16661:June232:August 14 (Registration begins at 8 AM) Ages: High School SophSeniors Cost: Starts at $150 This camp is an opportunity for high school players to demonstrate their skills in a pro-style workout and live games in front of the Texan coaching staff. Hometown Living At Its Best 91

TARLETON SWIM PROGRAM (254) Session968-93161:June 1-10 Session 2: June 14-24 Session 3: June 28-July 8 (8 AM – 12 PM) Age: 4+ Cost: $65 All sessions meet 8 times for 45 minutes, MondayThursday, at heated indoor pool at Wisdom Gym. Lessons are offered on five different skill levels: Introduction, Beginner, Advanced tarleton.edu/kinesiologyandIntermediate,Beginner,Swimmer.

REC KIDZ CAMP (254) 968-9912 Week Camps: July 5-9, 12-16, 19-23, 26-30, August 2-6 Mini Camps: June 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 24-26 Ages: 5 yrs. – 12 yrs. (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM) Cost: Week Camp - $100, Mini Camp - $65 Activities are designed to help campers become more independent, enhance their self-confidence and develop mind and body in a fun and safe learning tarleton.edu/campusrecenvironment.

STEM CAMP June 16-18Ages: 3rd – 8th Cost: Youth $240, Adult $130 Join us this summer for a fun, hands-on STEM Camp! Activities include 3D printing, aquatic robots, engineering challenges, aerospace, and so much more!

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WILDLIFE CAMP June 16-18 - Ages: 3rd - 12th Cost: Youth $240, Adult $130 This camp is for any youth wanting to learn more about wildlife and about stewardship in Texas. HORIZONS CAMP June 27-July 1 Ages: 4th – 8th Cost: Youth $300, Adult $160 A camp featuring multiple 4-H project areas. Each youth selects either Woodworking, STEM, Vet Science, or Wildlife, and goes on a full learning adventure for the length of camp! MISSION POSSIBLE CAMP June Ages:28-303rd– 12th Cost: $175, An inclusive camp for youth with medically diagnosed disabilities to enjoy traditional camp experiences and raise awareness about the disability community. COUNTY CAMP Camp 1: July 1-3 Camp 2: July 5-7 Ages: 3rd – 11th - Cost: Youth $200, $110 Adult Challenge course, swimming, archery, and more! OUTDOOR ADVENTURE CAMP July Cost:Ages:7-93rd-11thYouth$200, Adult $110, This camp is for youth who love to be outdoors! Activities will cover topics about living in, playing in, and enjoying being outdoors. PRIME TIME CAMP Camp 1: July 11-14 Camp 2: July 14-17 Ages: Camp 1: 5th-8th Camp 2: 3rd-5th Cost: Youth $250, Adult $135 Challenge course, swimming, archery, and more!

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CAMPSOTHER TARLETON NCA CHEER CAMPS (254) Camp968-91301:May31-June 3 Camp 2: June 7-10 Camp 3: June 14-17* Camp 4: June 21-24* Camp 5: June 28-July 1 Cost: Resident Camper$345, Commuter Camper*Camp$265 3 & 4 are 3A and cheertarleton.edu/summercamps/under

HILL ADVENTURECOUNTRYCAMP May 29-June 3 Ages: 14-18 yrs. Adventure camp designed for military youth of Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, and Retired Personnel. FISHING CAMP June Ages:16-183rd– 12th Cost: Youth $240, Adult $130 This camp is for any youth wanting to learn how to start fishing. Youth will learn the basics of fishing along with some fun and interesting related topics and activities.

COWBOY CHURCH OF ERATH COUNTY (254) 968-2210 June 1-4 | Ages: Pre-K – 6th 5 – 8 Theme:PMConcrete & Cranes - Building on the Love of Jesus Dinner begins at 5 PM, and VBS activities begin at 5:30 PM comcowboychurcherathcounty.| ELK RIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH (254) 485-4441 July 27-30 | Ages: 4 yrs.–6th 6 - 8 Theme:PMMystery Island VBS elkridgebaptist.org

CLOVER TEXTILES CAMP July 18 - 9 AM–12:30 PM Ages: 5–8 Cost: $25 AGRICULTURE AND FOOD CAMP June 29 - July 1 Ages 5–8: 9 AM – 12 PM Ages 8+: 1 – 4 PM Ages: 5+ Cost: $25For more details on upcoming events, area attractions and fun things for the whole family to do this summer, visit stephenvilletexas.org

FAITH CHURCHLUTHERAN (254) 968-2710 July 25-29 | Ages: 3 yrs.–5th 5:30 - 8 PM | Theme: Rainforest Explorers – Jesus Leads the Way Games, Crafts & More! Dinner included! | FaithLCStephenvillevbsmate.com/

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FIRST CHURCHBAPTIST (254) 965-3187 June 7-10 | Ages: K-6th 9 AM - 12PM Theme: Rocky Railway Climb aboard for mountains of fun at Rocky Railway! On this faith-filled adventure, kids discover that trusting Jesus pulls them through life’s ups and downs. July 12-15 | Ages: 1st – 3rd 9 AM - 2 Location:PMCity Park | Cost: Theme:$45 Soakin’ Up the Son Kidz Camp Designed for young students to see how to live in and for Christ. Partnering with area churches, there'll be games, music, Bible study, inflatables,

and Splashville! Make sure to invite a FBCStephenville.orgfriend! FIRST METHODISTUNITEDCHURCH (254) August965-50468-12|Ages: K – 6th 9 AM – 12:30 PM | Creative Arts Bible Camp Children will create Biblical themed art projects and a musical show. fumcstephenville.org| GREENS CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH (254) 445-3566 July 26-30 | 8:45 AM - Noon Theme: Concrete & Cranes, Building on the Love of Jesus! greenscreekbc.com HARVEY BAPTIST CHURCH (254) 965-4368 June 6-10 | Ages: 3 yrs.-6th 6 - 9:00 PM Theme: Rocky Railway Music, Bible Stories, Games, & Snacks to learn how God’s love pulls us harveybaptist.orgthrough! LIFE CHURCH (903) 802-3718 June 6 |10:30 AM | Beach Day June 12 & 13 | Enough Youth Camp Ages: 12 & up July 4 | 10:30 AM | Ice Cream Sundae Sunday July 31, 2-5 PM & August 1, 10:30 AM | Kids Camp Water activities, food, and more! The van will pick up all kids wanting to join in on the lifechurchstephenville.orgfun! LINGLEVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH (254) 335-0215 Date TBD | Ages: 5 yrs.-6th 6 - 8:30 PM Theme: Treasured –Discovering You’re Priceless to linglevillebaptist.orgGod ROCKY POINT BAPTIST CHURCH (254) 965-3582 July 5-9 | Ages: All ages 6 - 7 PM | Power Up Clubs Location: Monday – Thursday at homes around Stephenville, Friday at Rocky Point EachCampus.club will include skits, games, teaching, snacks, and rpbchurch.orgstories! TIMBER CHURCHRIDGE (254) 434-2507 June 11 | Family Movie Night (8:45 timberridgechurch.comaparty.FreeParkSplashville,SplashvilleJulyprovided.SnacksMovieFreeStephenvilleBirdsongPM)Amphitheater,CityParkfamilymovienight.willbeginatdark.anddrinkswillbe9|FamilyNightat|7:30–9:30PMStephenvilleCitycommunity-widepoolSPARDwillhaveconcessionstandopen. VALLEY BAPTISTGROVECHURCH (254) 965-5195 July 25-28 | Ages: 4 yrs. – 6th 6 - 8:30 PM | Theme: TBD valleygrove.net Hometown Living At Its Best 93

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Expansion/RenovationExpansion/Renovation Expansion/Renovation Expansion/Renovation Expansion/Renovation HIGHSTEPHENVILLESCHOO THE PROJECT FOCUSED ON EXPANDING AND IMPROVING STEPHENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL TO PROVIDE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS AND TO BEST SERVE STAFF AND THE COMMUNITY. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the newly renovated Stephenville High School, it will probably take you a minute to orient yourself. Construction has wrapped up on the $54 million additions and renovations project, and the transformation is incred ible. The project focused on expanding and improving Stephenville High School to provide more opportunities for students and to best serve staff and the community. Having been untouched for a good portion of the last 20+ years, Stephenville High School’s improvements in the 2018 Bond were long overdue. Provided by Stephenville High School 96 Erath County Living

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NEW AUDITORIUM

The new 32,200 sf auditorium addition was another key component of the bond project. Constructed in front of the old cafeteria entrance, this addition pro vided an opportunity to transform the look of the front of the school with a dynamic new design. Due to site constraints, and the need for a minimum 1,200 seating capacity, a balcony was introduced as a solution. This addition brought 21st century technology and capabili ties to the performing arts program at Stephenville High School. With a modern control booth, lighting, sound system and fly system, the auditorium is a showstopper for the area. The addition also includes a new scene shop, storage rooms and a relocated entrance for the cafeteria. Fine Arts

NEW GYMNASIUM

98 Erath County Living

CTE RENOVATIONS

SOFTBALL COMPLEX

The first project to be completed as part of the 2018 Bond was the new 500 seat softball stadium. This was an important addition to the campus as all softball games prior to construction had to be played off campus. The project features a restroom / concession building, batting cages and a new drive and parking dedicated to the field.

"HAVING BEEN UNTOUCHED FOR A GOOD PORTION OF THE LAST 20+ YEARS, STEPHENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL’S IMPROVEMENTS IN THE 2018 BOND WERE LONG OVERDUE."

Construction of the new auditorium allowed for oth er fine arts programs to benefit by being able to expand into the original auditorium space. Band and choir were relocated to the space occupied by the previous auditori um; each program was expanded and now has access to a larger performance area along with multiple practice, en semble and storage rooms. The original band and choir spaces were renovated to provide a new space for the art studio and theater classroom.

The new Gandy Gymnasium is a 34,400 sq ft. addition to the high school. The new gym has a seating capacity of 1,400, an increase from the old gym. A key component of the project was to maximize the use of the new gym for practices and potential tournaments. To accomplish this, the gymnasium was designed with retractable seat ing allowing for two full basketball and volleyball cross courts. A dividing curtain can be unfurled from the structure above to further make this division between the courts. In this setup, the high school can function as if there were three gymnasiums on campus allowing for increased flexibility in scheduling of practices and events. Another key piece of this addition was to provide new locker rooms, offices and storage rooms for the ath letic programs.

The entire CTE wing of the building was renovated to expand the programs offered to Stephenville High School students. A new state of the art culinary depart ment is one of the main highlights. Students passing through the hallway can look in the bakery portion of the department to catch a glimpse of what’s cooking or stop by the Jacket - Beestro for a quick snack before heading to their next class. The culinary lab provides a full-service professional production kitchen where students can hone their culinary skills. The space also features a prep kitch en, a ware wash area, a walk-in cooler and freezer and a dry storage Anotherroom.part of the CTE renovation is the expan sion of the health science department with a new health

STUDENT COMMONS

The last area to highlight is the new student com mons (aka The Hive). This space is in the former location of the original gym and provides an area for students to gather to study in one of the five new study rooms or as a gathering spot before and after school. A new learning stair has been constructed and creates a location for teachers to provide instruction to students outside of the classroom. Two new computer labs round out the space and help expand the digital learning environment that was lacking before the remodel. Two and a half years after starting construction, the transformation of Stephenville High School is complete and is now well equipped to serve many more genera tions of Yellow Jackets and Honeybees! ECL

AG BUILDING

"A PROGRAM THAT HAD BEEN DISCONTINUED PRIOR TO THE REMODEL BUT IS NOW BACK ON CAMPUS IS A FULLYAUTOFUNCTIONINGTECHSHOP."

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Another addition on campus is the newly construct ed 24,800 sf agricultural building. This building was constructed to relocate and expand some of the pro grams originally located in the CTE wing. This reloca tion allowed for new CTE programs to be provided like culinary arts and auto tech. The new ag building consists of a new mechanical shop, vet tech lab, floral classroom and four classrooms. Also included in the building is a 7,000 sf multi-purpose room known as Champions’ Hall. This space provides the district a location to host judging events, banquets, and district meetings.

science lab, office, storage and classroom. Featuring six hospital beds with adjacent medical setups, students gain firsthand experience while working on their life-like pa tientAsimulators.programthat had been discontinued prior to the remodel but is now back on campus is a fully functioning auto tech shop. Comprised of three vehicle bays, students can work on cars within the bays utilizing the newly installed auto-exhaust system assembly and overhead power and air. Adjacent to this shop space is the auto tech classroom which also converts to an additional auto bay for instructional demonstrations. Prior to the remodel, the robotics program func tioned out of one corner of the construction tech shop space. After the remodel, a robotics shop, classroom and space for a future practice arena have been provided all within their own space. The final piece of the CTE renovation is the renovation of the original auto tech shop into the new dance studio. New locker rooms, storage rooms and laundry facility with a commercial size washer and dryer are all located directly off the dance studio. A new sprung floor and a wall of mirrors complete the space.

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WELCOMES NEW PHYSICIANS

102 Erath County Living

HEALTH HOSPITAL

TEXAS

Because after the temporary shutdown of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville’s labor and delivery services in 2017 due to OB-GYN medical staff departures and retirements, the hospital has ex perienced a rebirth. In addition to a remodel of the L&D rooms, the hospital is now home to OBGYNs James Cawley, M.D.; Omar Cabrera, M.D.; and Sara Castellanos, D.O. “Restoring labor and delivery has always been a top priority,” said Christopher Leu, Texas Health Stephenville president. “We are excited to offer women the quality care and experience that these three doctors have brought right here within our ownOncommunity.”June7,2021, the doors of Texas Health Women’s Care, a part of Texas Health Physicians Group, reopened. That was Cawley’s first day of work. Cabrera followed on July 6 and Castellanos on Dec. 1. The three come from different backgrounds and parts of the country and have different areas of expertise. Yet they have a family like connection and share a passion for people, medicine, and Tex as Health’s Mission to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve.

Provided by Texas Health Hospital Stephenville CALL THE REOPENING OF TEXAS HEALTH WOMEN’S CARE IN STEPHENVILLE A AREAWAKENING.REJUVENATION.ATRIUMPH.

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Cabrera had been practicing in Waco for about five years when he heard Stephenville needed an OB-GYN and interviewed in December 2020.

On his time off, Cawley travels on medical missions. He’s been to Central America, South America, Asia, Af rica, the Caribbean. His first trip was to Haiti following an earthquake in 2010; after seeing videos on the news, he decided that’s where he needed to be. “It’s like the Lord was saying, ‘You need to go.’ I stepped off the plane and saw a tent city near the airport,” he said. “I walked up and asked, ‘How can I help?’” Every time he returns home from such travels, he realizes anew this truth: “You always get more than you give.”

OMAR CABRERA “I’M HERE TO REFLECT GOD’S LOVE INTO THEIR LIVES. ONE OF THE BIGGEST WAYS I CONVEY THAT IS TO GIVE THEM THE TIME WITH US THEY NEED.”

“My wife [Samantha] and I talked about it and prayed about it. I thought I’d rather be wrong by taking the risk than play it safe and not give this a try. It was very evident this hospital really wanted to offer obstetric services again, and I wanted to be part of that.”

“I enjoyed the heck out of it, and I still do.” he said. “Over the last 35-plus years, I’ve delivered babies, their children, and now I’m starting on the third generation.”

” When I went through obstetrics rotation in med ical school, it felt like a natural fit,” he said. “I saw the blessing of bringing life into this world.” Additionally, he deals with women who lose babies through miscarriage or stillbirth. “It’s a whole para digm,” he said. “You’re part of their grieving process. You help them with additional care, whether they need prayer or medical support or counseling. You’re trying to figure out why this happened, and could it be prevent ed next time. And then, maybe it’s seeing them through subsequent pregnancies.”

JAMES CAWLEY

The administration’s support impressed him. “They told me, ‘If you need something here, we’ll get it. If there’s a certain way you like to practice, we’ll accommodate that,’” he said. “I didn't come here to be catered to, but I’m thankful for their willingness to say, ‘We want you to be successful at what you’re doing.’”

Cawley grew up on a ranch outside Eldorado, Texas. And while his two brothers continued in the agriculture business, he became the first in his family to pursue a medical career. He became “smitten with medicine” while watching his father tend to injured and sick cattle and learning about the challenges of breech delivery and uterine pro lapse in Thosecattle.observations and the lure of a challenge led to his decision, during medical school rotations, to make obstetrics and gynecology his specialty.

"OVER THE LAST 35-PLUS YEARS, I’VE DELIVERED BABIES, THEIR CHILDREN, AND NOW I’M STARTING ON THE THIRD GENERATION."

Cabrera’s father was a family physician, which sparked his son’s interest in pursuing a medical degree. His choice of obstetrics began with his close connection to his mother and sister after his parents divorced.

Previously based in Graham, where he was the only OB-GYN for miles, Cawley has been followed to Ste phenville by many of his former patients. But he’s also excited about the new patients he’s meeting as he and his wife, Dori, a pediatrician, settle into their new life in Stephenville. “Everyone in town has been very nice.”

She loves being part of a strong, close-knit team. “My partners and I all have our own strengths,” she said. “Our different interests dovetail so well. It’s nice collaborating on challenging cases. I’m excited to have one of my col leagues assist me, or to be able to assist them in surgery.”

Over a decade ago, when Castellanos opened her practice in South Dakota, she couldn’t imagine ever leaving. When her partner left to pursue a fellowship, Dr. Castellanos contacted a recruiter to help her fill the vacancy.“The recruiter told me they didn’t have anyone for my position, but they did have a position they thought I should consider,” she said. Though Castellanos initially wasn’t interested in the OB-GYN opening in Stephen ville, the recruiter encouraged her to consider it. “They told me, ‘Think of it as a free trip to visit your sister,’” she said. Her sister, a registered nurse, lives with her family outside Austin and had long been urging Cas tellanos to move her family to Texas. So, in the spring of 2021, Castellanos visited Stephenville.

One goal, she said, is making sure women know they have “amazing resources in Stephenville, so they don’t feel the need to leave.”

Cabrera, his wife and their toddler son, Elias, and in fant daughter, Analia, have settled in nicely and already feel close ties to the community, including through their church.Hehas several goals for the practice and wants pa tients to know that they are being heard; that he and his fellow physicians are listening.

The patients are amazing too, she said. “Partnering with them to obtain their best health means we’ll work on mind, body, and spirit. Even if it's a busy crazy day and I'm physically exhausted, emotionally I'm excited. It’s fun to get to share knowledge and help patients reach theirAlthoughgoal.”

closing her South Dakota practice was a tough decision, she knows it was the right one. She and her family – husband Gianmarco and daughters Esther, 11, and Abigail, almost 8 – love it here. They’ve taken up taekwondo and immediately felt embraced by the com munity. “This felt like a natural transition,” she said. “I’ve been so blessed. God had everything ready.” "I HAVE A PASSION FOR WOMEN TO HAVE ACCESS FOR CARE CLOSE TO HOME."

“Our feeling from the get-go is that we’re coming here to serve,” he said. “I’m here to reflect God’s love into their lives. One of the biggest ways I convey that is to give them the time with us they need.”

ECL SARA CASTELLANOS

Hometown Living At Its Best 105

“I was really excited the community was so dedicated to reopening women’s health services. I have a passion for women to have access for care close to home, and this showed a lot of thought on the part of Texas Health of how important women’s health services are,” she said.

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