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THE TOWN | THE PEOPLE | THE PRIDE February 2018 | Prosper’s Community Magazine Since 2012 | $2.50

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8 Town Matters 10



Kids Say

12 Fire Chief Blasingame Speaks in the Community 14 A Friendship of Me & You 16 Prosper’s Person of the Year 22 In His Presence 24 Growing Prosper 26 Boots & Bling 2018 28 Celebrating 120 years 30 Prosper Sweethearts On The CoverProsper’s Person of the Year Patty Felan

February 2018

VOL VI, Issue 6

Voted 2013 New Business of The Year PUBLISHERS Jason & Heather Reynolds EDITORIAL/MARKETING DIRECTOR Heather Reynolds CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jason Reynolds BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE Kasey Klopfenstein ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Tish Cama EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Joyce Godwin | Ray Smith | Dr. Drew Watkins Celso Martinez | Heather Reynolds | Leslie Scott Amy Bartley | John Herring | Jimmie Gibson PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS Cedarbrook Studios PRODUCTION/DESIGN Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC EDITORIAL CONSIDERATIONS Please send editorial considerations to ADVERTISING INFORMATION For our current media guide, contact Advertising at


or PROSPER MAGAZINE P.O. BOX 405 Prosper, Texas 75078 972.347.6231 |

26 As we continue to grow, we value your input on various articles and subject matter for PROSPER Magazine. If you’d like to be a part of our Editorial Focus Group, please email us at and we will send you the details!!

6 | February 2018

A Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC Publication

CedarbrookMedia Connect | Engage | Prosper

PROSPER Magazine is wholly owned and published by Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. PROSPER Magazine is published 12 times a year. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or copied whole or in part without expressed written permission from the publisher, Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC. © 2017. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The title and all material are protected by international copyright laws and are reserved. Although the greatest of care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this magazine at time of going to press, neither PROSPER Magazine nor Cedarbrook Media Group, LLC can be held liable for omissions, inexactness or errors.

Register by February 23rd for Citizens’ Police Academy Vision Statement – where we are going The Prosper Citizens’ Police Academy will be one of the initial processes that will create solidarity for all citizens and public safety in order to build a safe community through continued education, involvement and personal responsibility. If you would like to be a part of the next or future Citizen’s Police Academy classes, please contact Officer Erin Hubbard at (972)-347-9002 or Email: Prosper Police Department 101 South Main Street Prosper, Tx 75078


appy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers… enjoy the show of love in this issue – February is always one of our favorite editions for several reasons. First, it never ceases to amaze me how time seems to stand still after the holidays…from the time school starts until New Year’s, the hustle and bustle of life makes time fly right by. And then comes January. It’s cold, the excitement of the holidays is over…and did I mention how cold it is? But, when February 1st comes around, we are thrilled for two things...Spring is just around the corner and we can finally announce the Prosper Person of the Year!! It’s hard to believe that we are honoring our 6th Person of the Year…we are just so blessed to be in a community where every year we get nominations for so many different individuals, and they are all deserving of the honor! Prosper is what it is because of the people. We hear it all the time, we say it all the time and we love the distinction of recognizing the best of the best each year! These individuals go above and beyond in their professions and in their lives. They do things the right way and they do them because it’s the right thing to do. They don’t do it for the recognition or the attention…in fact, in most cases, it’s the exact opposite. So, when you see these incredible individuals out and about, be sure to thank them for all that they do in our town! We’ll be introducing them all in more detail throughout the year, as well as including several ways that you can plug in to the community! #WeAreProsper #WeAreOne #TownPeoplePride With Prosper Pride,

Heat her & Jason Reynolds

Phone: 972-347-9002 Purpose Statement – why we are doing it The Prosper Citizen’s Police Academy exists to educate citizens on operations, policy and procedures of the Prosper Police Department in order to build trust and gain volunteerism within the community. Mission Statement – what we are doing The Prosper Citizens’ Police Academy will solidify a partnership of collaboration between the Prosper Police Department and the citizens of Prosper through exposure to training and insight into the everyday working tasks of the Police Department. After completing the Citizen’s Police Academy graduates are eligible to become members of multiple police and community support programs. Prosper Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association (PCPA3) – Our mission is to present & promote a continuing positive image of all law enforcement, to promote goodwill between the community and the Prosper Police Department, to plan, originate, aid, and/or assist the police department, the Town, and the citizens in promoting and supporting civic projects and programs for the betterment of the community and its citizens. Prosper Citizens On Patrol (C.O.P) – is a non-confrontational neighborhood program designed to reduce crime through the increased cooperation between citizens and police. Volunteers donate their time by patrolling and assisting Officers with traffic control when needed. They are trained by the Prosper Police Department to observe, recognize, and report suspicious or criminal activity. The COP program allows citizens to take an active role in crime prevention, by acting as the eyes and ears of the police department. It builds camaraderie between the residents of the Town, by creating a safer environment and a better quality of life. It also sends a message that the citizens are aware, alert, and will not tolerate criminal activity. Volunteers In Police Service (V.I.P.S) - is a program which provides support and resources for the Town of Prosper Police Department and enhances volunteerism for community members who wish to volunteer their time and skills. The VIPS program will direct volunteer opportunities within the police department and direct the placement of volunteers in order to maximize their talents in service of the community. Volunteer opportunities exist for a wide variety of services which include anything from data entry to helping put together a budget for the department. VIPS and COP’s will also help with special events such as National Night Out, Country Christmas, and C.S.I. (Community Safety Initiative.) Both COPs and VIPS require graduation from the CPA and additional COPS/VIPS training.

February 2018 |



Town Matters

T wn Matters I

t may be the shortest month of the year, but February is jam-packed with reasons to celebrate, to remember, to honor and to take positive action. The month starts with the mystery surrounding Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog that supposedly tells us whether or not to expect cooler or warmer weather. I’m not convinced of the groundhog’s predictive powers, but I don’t think he’s any different than the weather forecasters on two legs. Significantly, February is recognized nationally as Black History Month. It’s extremely appropriate to pause this month and call to mind the rich and proud history of African Americans. It’s also a chance to remember the many injustices that this group has had to endure, both in the past and present. My hope is that one day we will all live in the manner that Christ commanded, loving each other as He loved us. February is also the month of love, as we celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14. Those of us who love someone will undoubtedly support the famous notion first uttered by the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson that “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” Lena and I usually celebrate Valentine’s Day as a special occasion with a nice dinner, flowers and chocolates. I hope everyone has an opportunity to celebrate it in their own way. The month has also been designated as Healthy Heart Month by the American Heart Association. This is very close to my, well, my heart. As a survivor of a heart attack and stroke, I am well aware of the importance

8 | February 2018

From Mayor Ray Smith

of keeping hearts healthy. I urge everyone to check their blood pressure regularly, lose weight if necessary, eat healthy foods, and participate in an exercise program, either on your own or in a group. Fortunately, for residents looking for a way to maintain good health, Prosper is right in the middle of the ITS TIME TEXAS Community Challenge, where Prosper residents compete with other cities and towns our size to see which population is the healthiest. I’m sure you’re aware that we have won the challenge two years in a row, and that we have launched the effort to three-peat. You can help yourself get healthy and, at the same time, help the Town win again by registering at and choosing Prosper as your community. Then, return to the site daily and add healthy selfies, monitor your weight, and demonstrate good nutritional choices. When you do, everyone wins. If we win again, it will be a tremendous accomplishment, and it will prevent me from wearing a T-shirt from our rival city Lancaster. I’m hoping Lancaster’s Mayor will be forced, once again, to wear a Prosper T-shirt. Clearly, there’s a lot at stake here, so I humbly ask for your help. Finally, there have been many grand and soft openings of businesses in Prosper over the last several months. This year will prove to be a gamechanger for us as more retail businesses will open their doors. I urge you to patronize our new business partners and show them they made the right choice in picking Prosper.

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Kids Say

Garrett and Riley

Garrett: I’ve lost 6 teeth! I lost some two years ago and last year, but not this year so far.

Garret is 7 years old and in 2nd grade and Riley is 6 years old and in 1st grade. They want to go on a cruise with their dad this summer and they think that would be very cool. They also like huge sets of Lego and being outside.

Where is the best place you’ve ever been? Riley: Mine is Universal Studio Garrett: I would say… (Riley whispers something about not forgetting a place they’ve been) Garrett: Washington, D.C. That’s my favorite place.

What is your favorite color? Garrett: Blue Riley: Gold Garrett: It’s basically yellow Riley: No, it’s like yellow and brown mixed together. And I like glitter added to it too. I tried to make glitter glue and added white too, and it turned out kind of neat.

What do you think you’ll be when you grow up? Garrett: I want to be an electrical engineer. I want to invent and make things with electricity. Riley: Military. I want to be an Air Force pilot. But I won’t get to choose. I might be Army or Air Force. Then they will tell me what I’ll get to do.

What do you like about school? Riley: My favorite subject is science. One day I did this really cool science experiment where we talked about real worms and gummy worms. The real worms crawled on my hand. They kept them in a bucket in the refrigerator. They moved kind of slow because they were cold I think. Garrett: I like math class. I like subtracting and grouping. I’m good at math too.

What do you do for fun? Riley: I like to roller skate Garrett: I like to take things apart and see what they can do. Riley: Engineers like to take stuff apart, take out the messed up thing, and then put it back together with the right pieces and take away the wrong piece. Garrett: My favorite sport is hockey. I play and watch. Riley: I quit hockey, but I still like it, it’s just not my favorite subject, but it is my favorite to watch.

So, you lost a tooth today Riley? Riley: Yes, at lunch. The nurse gave me a treasure chest to put it in. What are you going to do with it? Riley: I’m not going to give it to the tooth fairy tonight. I’m going to hold on to it for a little bit. I want to keep it to look at it.

Who is the funniest person in your family? Garrett: Usually me or my dad Riley: I’m really fun Garrett: Yes, you are Riley: I still think I’m the funniest person in our family

10 | February 2018

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PM Blasingame said Prosper has the best firefighters anywhere. Crowds in both meetings listened attentively as Blasingame explained about the equipment on the fire trucks and answered questions about ladder trucks, firefighting and life-saving techniques. He also talked about the new Assistant Chief Shaw Eft, who actually took Blasingame’s role that was vacated when Blasingame moved to Fire Chief.

Fire Chief Blasingame Speaks in the Community New device provides CPR to cardiac arrest victims

The newest addition to the fire department’s tool box is the LUCAS device. There is one for each of the two emergency medical service teams on constant call. The LUCAS device is a portable, electric-powered piece of medical equipment that automates the life-saving chest compressions that have been the basis for CPR, long recognized as the most effective way to restart and regulate heart rhythm. “We are all trained in providing CPR, and we acknowledge that it is unsurpassed in saving the lives of cardiac arrest victims,” Blasingame said. “Even so, we are all subject to becoming tired or administering it evenly. The LUCAS device is designed to provide CPR without interruption or variance. It frees up our paramedics to deal with any other immediate issues.” The LUCAS device automatically delivers 100 chest compressions per minute or two compressions per second consistently. These consistent compressions, along with those of an AED (automated external defibrillator), can help the heart of affected victims begin beating in a regular rhythm. “Using the LUCAS device provides essential chest compressions, and also gives our paramedics the freedom to administer other lifesaving medications or prepare the victim for transport,” he said. “It’s almost like having another person onsite devoted specifically to providing CPR.”

By Joyce Godwin

Prosper Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame was out on the town in the past week informing folks in different groups about the changes and accomplishments of the Prosper Fire Department. First, he stopped at Prosper Rotary where he was invited to provide the meeting’s program. A few days later, he was the program for the January Prosper Ladies Association meeting. He explained how having Station No. 2 has made a big difference in responses to emergency calls. And how the teams work together on each shift to give the best service to the Prosper community.

Unlike the hands of paramedics, which can only push on a victim’s chest, the LUCAS device has the additional ability of pulling and lifting the chest. It is designed with a plunger that is shaped like a suction cup, which lifts the chest, causing the heart to fill with blood much easier. Fire Department personnel have undergone complete training on the device and are now carrying a LUCAS in each of the department’s EMS units.

12 | February 2018

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to the time when their friendship began as little girls and that’s when the laughter begins for this interview. Donna grabs Julie’s wrist and smiles, “Can you remember what Miss Julie fed us? I can’t believe we ate it!” Julie answers, “We ate sardines and crackers!” “As little girls,” Donna adds. Julie says, “At three years old!” Donna completes the story with, “I can even remember her opening those cans up.” This is how a conversation with these two goes; a volley back and forth of snippets of memories and sentence fragments that create a whole story. These two wasted no time becoming fast and close friends from a very early age. When 6 year old Donna moved to 1st street, Julie already lived on 1st street, Donna says, “so that’s really when we were always together.” Julie adds, “The house I grew up in is still there and Rucker Julie Boyer is in that backyard. We walked everywhere – all our friends did, we even walked to school together. We all rode bicycles and tied wagons together and had a convoy and other days we would play in the woods behind our house. Those woods are still down there. We would play cops and robbers.” Donna continues the memory, “We would play all kinds of stuff, Julie and I were together a lot. We slept outside on blankets looking at the stars.”

A Friendship of Me and You Donna Templin Elliot and Julie Boyer Vest By Leslie Scott

As these ladies arrived for our interview, I noticed a few things right away. One is how they lean into each other chatting nonstop as they walk towards me, how they are aware of their surroundings and yet it seems like they are the only two in existence to each other. The second thing I notice is Donna has a book with her. The book was not a yearbook or photobook as I expected, but rather a children’s book that Julie gifted her. The book Me and You by Genevieve Cote, tells the story of two very different animal friends. They have different perspectives, attitudes, and talents, and yet they complement and complete each other. Inside the book, Julie wrote: “Donna, It’s good to wish, but it’s better to be – you just like you, and me just like me. For my lifetime friend, Love Julie.” Unlike many friendships that have no certain beginning, these two know exactly how and when they began their friendship. Donna begins the story of two little three year old girls, “There once was a cul-de-sac where Broadway is now and my grandmother lived on the corner of that and the lady that kept Julie lived right across the street. She stayed with Julie Nance, everyone called her Miss Julie, and I would go to my grandmothers and we just started playing together.” Immediately these two are taken back

14 | February 2018

Both women take on looks of fondness and happiness when they think back to day-to-day events and happenings they have shared together. Julie remembers, “There was a pear tree we would eat pears off of and a mulberry tree on 3rd street that we all ate off of and climbed, we ate anything and everything all over town. We were street urchins running around all the time” When asked if they’ve always been friends, no time of fading away or strains from distance, they answer an emphatic no. Julie says, “We were friends before we were in school, during elementary school and high school, we grew up together.” Donna adds, “It just happened, we were both in town – we had the same friends, we didn’t go to the same church though, and I don’t know really how we just clicked, except we were just there together.” Julie knows the answer and says, “Our personality’s complimented each other. She was the crafty one that could do anything and I just dreamed. I dreamed stuff and she would say let’s do it.” “Our freshman year we were cheerleaders Donna Templin together,” Donna begins. Julie adds, “We were on drill team together in junior high. Back in those days, the school’s drill team was 7 – 12th grade. I looked at our senior yearbook the other night, and there were close to 40 girls on the drill team. For that day and age, that’s a lot of girls. That was more than half the female population. If you were breathing, then you were on the drill team.” Once the laughter from Julie’s quip settles, Donna says, “We played basketball together.” Julie says, “Donna was the athlete,” Donna replies, “You were an athlete.” Julie argues, “In those days when you played basketball it

was half court. The coach told me to get out there and get the ball and give it to Donna. That’s my experience playing basketball.” Donna is quick to defend Julie’s humble comment with, “She’s exaggerating a little bit.” Donna reminisces, “We were so close then. Everything I did, she was involved in and everything she did I was involved in. We were always there to comfort each other. When she was little she took piano lessons and had to practice every day. Her mother would say, ‘Donna Kay, Julie can’t play until she practices.’ I don’t know how I didn’t learn to play piano because I would sit on the bench with her while she would practice. Julie is a very good pianist.” Julie’s quickly adds, “I was, I’m not anymore.” These two have such an incredibly rich history together. There were stories they shared about double dates, Halloween festivals, an undefeated basketball season, their weddings, being each other’s matron and maid of honors, prom and wedding disaster hairdos, and places they hung out with friends. They told stories about running out of gas and pushing the car, cotton bur fumes in the air from the burning, roads that once were and new roads they never dreamt would go in, finding out they were expecting their children, their children’s relationships with each other, and their grandchildren too.

There’s a quiet moment of reflection where each of these women are transported to memories and experiences of their own not to be shared. Donna takes a deep breath and smiles and begins, “Julie says that I’m faithful, but Julie always knows exactly what I need. She knows when she needs to be with me, when to comfort me.” Laughter emits from Julie when she cracks, “and sometimes when to tell her it’s okay, you need to be quiet and calm down now.” When asked of their thoughts of all the changes in Prosper, Donna replies, “I would have never dreamed what we’ve got now!” Julie continues, “I never thought I would see this in my lifetime. When we moved out in the country, I thought someday I’ll wake up and there will be a 7-Eleven across the street and that’s when I’ll move. But I was just joking about that. There’s a projected 1,300 homes going in across the road and Celina is projecting to build a 6 lane highway straight through the middle of our property, and that blows my mind. Shopping centers are now where cotton fields once were.” Both ladies seem mystified at the growth and yet not so surprised either. Donna says, “As we were growing up and raising our kids, people were coming here, but we just didn’t think about it.” Donna and Julie remain as close as ever. They sometimes only see each other once in a while, or chat on the phone sporadically, but they always know what they mean to each other. Julie sums it up with, “We may not see each other for a month, but we are like sisters. Our friendship is a two way and that’s what has made our friendship last a lifetime.” Donna is holding Julie’s wrist again and says, “We’ve always worked; our friendship works. And we work well together. We can sit and try to figure something out and we add here and here and we come up with something.” Julie interrupts with, “I just do what she tells me to do. She just doesn’t let me use the scissors.” Both ladies are laughing again now and Donna adds, “No, she can’t use the scissors. She’s left handed and cannot cut. I never give her scissors! There are many times I think how did we stay this close this long. And we don’t have to be together all that often. She has friends and I have other friends, but when it comes down to it, it’s Julie and Donna and people know it.”

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Not all their memories are of fond times. When asked what they appreciate about each other, the mood become somber. Julie begins, “She’s faithful. I had cancer 18 years ago, her dad was still sick and was dealing with cancer, hardest phone call I ever made.” Donna replies, “Hardest one to receive.” With tears in her eyes Julie continues, “She didn’t miss a treatment – she took me to every single one.” Donna says, “I felt like I needed to be there. I’d already gone through it with my daddy, and I knew what she was going into, knew how scary it was in the beginning. And I wanted to be there for her. Julie and I have been together to witness life being born and notified of death too.”


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Prosper’s Person of the Year Patty Felan

for others is genuine. She exemplifies the qualities that our Prosper Person of the Year should possess. I encourage you and your committee to strongly consider her for this honor & recognition. “My mother taught me to volunteer. She raised four girls, worked full time, managed a household and gave of her time to the community. I have been blessed with a loving family, and a great husband. When you give to other, you will get back. What I received was a wonderful daughter. I realized that feet on the ground volunteering is what I love. You meet so many wonderful people. Our town is blessed with great volunteers full of love and kindness.” - Patty Felan “Mrs. Felan truly has a servant’s heart demonstrated through her participation in a number of community projects, always targeting those less fortunate, along with community issues. She has always been a great partner with PISD.” Dr. Drew Watkins, Prosper ISD Superintendent “I have known Patty for more than 17 years as a parent, volunteer, “cheerleader” for our school district and community and trusted friend. She is a “girl on the go,” full of spirit and heart as she volunteers throughout all aspects of our community, serving others. Her leadership, volunteerism, “behind the scenes” activities and involvement with Clothe-a-Child, Cornerstone, Bethlehem Place, Light Lunch Ministries, Prosper Ladies Association, CERT team and providing assistance to individuals in unique circumstances, will warm your heart. Patty currently is leading the way with fundraising efforts for the Prosper Veteran’s Memorial. Patty’s passion for gardening and environmental awareness extends into her volunteer efforts with the Prosper Garden Club, Collin County Master Gardeners, Prosper Water Tower Demonstration Gardens and the environmental learning gardens located at Rucker Elementary. Whatever project Patty touches, her servant’s heart, passion and love for others, shine through! Patty exemplifies all the outstanding qualities of our 2017 Prosper Person of the Year.” - Jana Thomson, Prosper School Board, Retired PISD Principal, Community Member. Friend.

Nominated For: Patty is a girl on the go. She is full of spirit and involved in anything & everything that helps those in Prosper. Her leadership, volunteerism and involvement with Clothe-a-Child, Cornerstone, Light Lunch Ministries, Prosper Ladies Association and behind the scenes helping people in need will warm your heart. Her assistance generally goes without notice because she helps others that need it, expecting nothing in return. Her love of gardening, plants & environment ensure that her hands are full with the Prosper Garden Club, Collin County Master Gardeners, the Prosper Water Tower Demonstration Garden project and ensuring that the Jana Thomson Garden, located at Rucker Elementary is perfectly maintained at all times. Patty is a true friend to many in our community & has a servant's heart in all that she does. Her compassion, concern & caring

16 | February 2018

“Patty is an exceptional choice for Prosper’s Person of the Year! For those that do not know her, it is hard to put into a few sentences all she has done to make a difference in Prosper, as well as other communities. She has touched so many hearts and lives, and we will never know the full extent of her outreach because she doesn’t do it to be noticed nor does she want the recognition. She does it because she has a passion for helping anyone and everyone that needs it. Whether she is championing for the Prosper Veterans Memorial or working with countless organizations such as Bethlehem Place, Cornerstone, Prosper Fire Citizens Emergency Response Team, Clothe a Child, etc., she epitomizes the “small town, big heart” values that Prosper is known for.” – Stuart Blasingame, Prosper Fire Chief

Rick Carpenter Nominated For: Although he is the Prosper Baseball coach and it is his job to coach the baseball boys, it is much more than that for him. He is building character in these boys. Showing them and teaching them that giving back is part of being a good human being. He is shaping the next generation of athletes to be humble and kind. He leads by example. He is quiet and behind the scenes, but he is around touching and changing lives. “I am 61 years old and just celebrated our 42nd anniversary with wife Tammie. I have 3 kids Matt, Tyler and Caitlyn. I have 2 grandchildren Kinley, Kannon and Tate on the way. Tammie and I are members of First Baptist Prosper. Tammie is a retired principal and teacher of 33 years. I am in my 36th year in Texas teaching and coaching, with my last 11 being here in Prosper. I've had 4 state championship teams with the most recent here at Prosper in 2015. My 2002 team was USA TODAY/BASEBALL AMERICA National Champs. I've been inducted into the Texas Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and National Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2015. I came to Prosper mainly so my daughter could go to a small school but then I feel in love with it. My original plan was to leave in 3 years upon her graduation in 2010. After falling in love with Prosper ISD and the town I've decided I'll retire from here. I love the small town and small school atmosphere even though neither are small now. What has made our rapid growth pleasant to me is the fact that the people, adults and kids alike have kept the small-town qualities. The kids at PHS are incredibly smart, polite and talented. The adults in this town are quick to volunteer for charities and fundraiser. They pass these traits down to their kids. I never have trouble getting volunteers for our community service. Our baseball program helps with Cornerstone Christmas, works with our little league, greets kids in the morning at their school and helps at elementary school functions.” - Rick Carpenter

Erin Kauffman Nominated For: Erin Kaufman, aka Coach Mac, is one of those educators who goes above and beyond the line of duty. She puts her heart and soul into her team. She has always been a very dedicated coach and this past year, being her first year as a ‘real’ mom to her own child she has found remarkable success in not only her endeavors as a coach, (winning State of course) but has balanced that delicate, but not easy, task of being a wife and mother as well. She is an inspiration to all of us that know her and especially to her volleyball families. Other than being the best high school volleyball coach in Texas, she is constantly working hard to give her team and staff the best. She cares about everyone and brings confidence to every event. “I’m originally from St. Louis, MO, moved to Texas after graduating from college, and have been employed as the Prosper Volleyball coach since August 2013 (5 years). We moved to Prosper from McKinney last March, and love living in the town. I am married to Justin, who is the Varsity Boys Basketball Coach at Frisco Centennial High School, and we recently welcomed our first child (son), Keegan, who was born May 22, 2017. It seems everywhere I go, I run into someone I know. Whether it be kids I have taught, girls I have coached, or parents of girls in my program, I am always greeted with a big smile and a big hug. When I was hired at PISD, I was welcomed with open arms, and I have been supported 100% throughout my 5 years. It really is awesome having a community AND an administration that supports the extracurricular activities of the students, as well as having a Superintendent that is as competitive as I am! It’s no secret that we are growing at a tremendous pace. It’s my hope that we continue to have school (and town) pride, no matter who many high schools we have. Kids thrive when they are supported, and teachers and coaches thrive when they know that the town cares about their passion and vision! My mother text me at 6AM the day it was released. I didn’t know what she was copying and pasting to me, but then I read her next text message that said, “I don’t know whether to vote for you or Coach Carpenter!” (I hope she was joking!). This just proves that everyone on that list is more than deserving of the award. My mom has met Coach Carpenter one time, and he made her feel like the most important person in the world. I am extremely honored to be among the finalists, but I am no one special. My calling in life is to share my passion for volleyball, competition, and leadership development with young women who are about to be out in the big bad world. I have been very, very lucky to surround myself with co-workers who make my job easier, and young women in my program who are all on the same page with the same vision.” - Erin Kauffman

February 2018 |


Seth Ringley Nominated For: Seth has been a huge part of multiple charities in Prosper donating time, catering services and products to local organizations. On top of that his own nonprofit, Triple G Relief, represented this community for ten weeks down in Houston feeding the victims, first responders and military after hurricane Harvey. They served over 37,000 plates of food over that time frame and had a lot of local support as well. “I was born and raised in McKinney, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University in 2008. I studied business and political science, while also being a member of the Corps of Cadets. I met my wife, Brooke, in 2013, and we were married in Barbados in 2015. We currently have one daughter, Maisie, and a baby boy due this April! In 2014, Brooke and I made the move to Prosper because we knew this is where we wanted to start a family, raise our children, and become a part of such a great community. My brother and I are partners in Triple G Group, which we have had since 2013. We provide on-site catering services through Triple G Catering, metal fabrication and welding services through Triple G Smokers, and most importantly have served over 200,000 plates of food over 11 deployments through our nonprofit disaster relief organization, Triple G Relief. Corbin and I have loved working with all the local businesses, organizations, charity groups, and fellow community members over the years, and that is why we are extremely excited to start our restaurant and move our fabrication facility to Prosper. We love this community so much because of its small-town feel, wonderful schools and facilities, community driven events groups, and the opportunity it gives small businesses like ours to grow with a rapidly expanding community and supportive local government. It was a great surprise when I heard the news, but also a huge honor to be a part of such a great group of nominees and winners, past and present. One thing I hope everyone reading this will realize is that we are a very strong community and that no matter what your background is, that YOU can make a difference. We have so many wonderful organizations throughout Prosper, and it just takes a little bit of time to make a big difference. Thank you Prosper for this exciting opportunity, embracing our family in this amazing town, and giving our businesses the opportunity to grow and succeed.” - Seth Ringley

Jen Lutes Nominated For: Jen truly cares for the people in our community. As the Executive Director of Cornerstone NCT, she is often helping those in our community in need but she’s also a great friend, counselor and servant of many others as well. She’s a great mom and involved with her kids’ activities, active in the ISD on top of everything else she does week in and out. She is a huge asset to our community and well deserving of Prosper’s Person of the Year. “I am the wife of an incredibly supportive, and very funny husband, Mark, and mom to two wonderful, talented, quick-witted children, Ainsley (14) and Alli (10). Our family moved to Prosper in 2006. One of my earliest memories of moving to Prosper was driving down 380 and having to stop quickly because a bull was headed straight for my car and the police were yelling for me to back up quickly, so he would not hit me. I have loved every minute of living in the small town we moved to, and I am excited for the next phase of Prosper's history as we grow. Helping people who need a hand is in the DNA of this town. Throughout our 11 years here I have seen this entire town come together time and time again to help families who have lost a parent, a house, a child, or a job. In 2010, I had an idea to help families in our community. Of course, I couldn't have dreamed that it would ultimately turn into the Cornerstone North Central Texas that exists today. Cornerstone's growth and success is a direct reflection of the servant nature of our community. The people in this town have a huge heart and that has been the most constant factor as the town has grown. I am honored to be nominated and humbled to be included with the phenomenal group of men and women who were nominated for this honor.” - Jen Lutes

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Michael Pettis Nominated For: Michael has done so much to keep Prosper growing, but at the same time, keeping its roots alive. He's also done a tremendous job with "Sons of the Flag" organization, which raises awareness and money for burn victims. He's always giving and is an incredible father. “I saw the post on Facebook regarding Person of the Year and wanted to see who was nominated. When I pulled up the list and saw my name, I was shocked! I couldn't believe it and was a little embarrassed because everyone else on the list is 10x worthier than I am. I've been married to my wife, Nikki for 22 years. Nikki is a Territory Manager for St. Jude Medical. She works in their Neuromodulation Division and specializes in Deep Brain Stimulation for patients with Parkinsons. We have 3 awesome (I'm partial) kids. Regan is 19 and a sophomore at Oklahoma State University. Cole is 18 and a Senior at Prosper High School. Case is 15 and a Freshman at PHS. We love everything about PISD and feel incredibly grateful that our kids have thrived here in Prosper. Approximately 2 years ago, I was approached by a friend to see if I was interested in purchasing The Cotton Gin as the current owners were ready to retire. My mother and I thought it would be a good investment and it also allowed us to incorporate other members of our family in the business to give it a true family feel. We recently expanded the building and opened "The Gin," which is a casual, local restaurant/bar with an outdoor venue and live music. We have had so much fun in this venture and constantly enjoy seeing new and old Prosper friends each week. We moved to Prosper 10 years ago when there was roughly 5,000 people. This town was exactly what I wanted for my family. Growing up in a small west Texas town taught me values and a clear respect of others. After visiting friends in Prosper while living in Frisco, I made it my mission to move our family north so that they would experience the same qualities of life that I appreciated. While growth is inevitable, I hope that Prosper can continue to maintain the small-town charm. Right now, Prosper has the best of both worlds - Preston/380 will be great for bigger stores and the downtown Prosper area has the smaller town feel. We are grateful to be a part of the downtown small-town part of town.” - Michael Pettis

Amanda Thrash Nominated For: Amanda is currently the Administrator for Texas Health Neighborhood Care & Wellness Prosper. She is passionate and dedicated to serving the community of Prosper and has been invaluable to Texas Health’s efforts to bring quality and convenient care to Prosper’s residents. In addition, she is an active participant in the Town of Prosper’s health initiatives lending her expertise in developing worthwhile activities to promote the health and wellbeing of her own community. Beyond her work in health-focused endeavors, Amanda has also demonstrated commitment to promoting Prosper’s women in leadership by co-founding the Chamber’s Ladies in Leadership group. While Amanda may be newer to the Prosper community, she has undoubtedly made significant contributions to the health and leadership empowerment of Prosper’s citizens. “I am the Administrator of Texas Health Neighborhood Care and Wellness Prosper, an outpatient health care campus located just west of the Dallas North Tollway. We just opened up a year ago and are excited to be the largest health care facility in the town of Prosper, with services ranging from a full-service emergency department and advanced imaging all the way to physician offices and a community fitness center. Once I began working in the town, my husband, Bucky, and I quickly fell in love with the small town, big heart atmosphere and decided to lay down roots in Prosper. We live in Windsong Ranch and absolutely love the community and how welcoming everyone has made us feel. We have two dogs, Duke and Luna, whom we treat like our children and love spending time entertaining with friends at our new home. The town is growing rapidly and there is such a palpable sense of pride and excitement among the residents and business leaders, it made me feel like I could truly make a difference here. Prosper is known for its beautiful residential areas and amazing schools. My hope for Prosper is that in the future, this town is also known for being the healthiest town in America and a place that is great for businesses to grow and thrive. With the Prosper Healthy Committee just getting started in 2017, I’ve found that there is a lot of opportunity to advance integrating healthy eating and activity into town events and infrastructure. Also, the town’s positioning right along Highway 380 and Dallas North Tollway is a huge opportunity for economic development and I look forward to seeing how this area evolves and changes over the next decade. I was humbled and honored to learn of my nomination as Prosper’s Person of the Year. There are many great nominees, some of which have been contributing and serving the Town of Prosper for decades. I encourage others to get involved and share their talents. It’s been extremely rewarding for me personally to get involved and make a difference in Prosper this past year.” - Amanda Thrash February 2018 |


Grant Rutledge Nominated For: Grant is retired, serves at Prestonwood North as the head of security, and this summer, gave of his time to build the news set for Eagle Nation News at PHS. He’s always the first to arrive, the last to leave, and serves everyone with grace and love. “I moved to Prosper in 2015 with my wife, Susan of 42 years. Together, we have four grown children and ten grandchildren. My oldest daughter Gwen Ray and her family had already lived in Prosper for several years, and as I attended school events and Prosper activities with them, I was drawn to the area because of the friendliness and spirit of the Prosper people. I wanted to live in a place where neighbors knew each other and where I could be involved in the community. When the need arose for us to build a one-story house, so they could care for Susan’s elderly parents, I knew right where it should be. Prosper’s larger lot sizes were an added bonus, making the decision perfect for our family. When I received word I was nominated for Prosper’s Person of the Year, I was both humbled and honored. I have always served the community I live in, believing “the greatest gift comes from serving others”. When I retired from Raytheon I immediately began looking for ways to serve in Prosper and the surrounding communities. For two years, I assisted monthly with food distribution at Grace Bridge in Celina. I volunteer at Prestonwood Baptist Church’s North Campus in Prosper where I am an active member. In 2014, I was ordained as a Deacon, and help with youth activities, hospital visitation, vacation bible school and Bible Fellowship. I have led the service team on youth Mission Trips to New York City, Seattle, Washington D.C., and the United Kingdom, setting up and taking down staging and audio equipment, many times working 14-hour days. For the past five years, I have also served as volunteer director of Children’s Security at the church, recruiting and overseeing a staff of over seventy people. In 2018, I was appointed to the Architectural Control Committee by the board of Whispering Meadows Residential Association. Since retiring, I have been able to devote more time to one of my favorite hobbies, carpentry. Word got out that I loved to build things, and since then I have become the “go-to” guy for church projects, including children’s musicals, stage sets, and special event backdrops for the youth. Last May, I was introduced to the broadcast teacher at Prosper High School by my grandson, Nico Ray. From there a relationship was formed that allowed myself and my friend to volunteer all summer building the live broadcast news set for the students of Eagle Nation News. In October, I was asked to come back to the ENN Studio and build a second set that I completed before Christmas. While serving others is and always will be my legacy, my pride and joy is my family. You will often find me in the bleachers or the audience of one of my grandchildren’s events, or in the back yard playing volleyball with family and friends.” - Grant Rutledge

Rachel Holt Nominated For: She has brought to our community the amazing Suzuki Strings! It is one of the hardest instruments to play and within one year our community has something that makes us even more outstanding! “I grew up as a Suzuki violin kid in West Texas, where cotton fields lined the roads just as they do here in my new home, Prosper. Those fields, the big Texas sky, and this close-knit community are my favorite things about Prosper. I have had the incredible opportunity to begin a Suzuki violin program in Prosper ISD over the past year and a half, and I now have a group of 55 students and their parents who are working together to develop, as Dr. Suzuki said, a "beautiful tone, beautiful heart." The encouragement and support I have received from our school, school district, and community has been overwhelming, and it is a true honor to be nominated as a Person of the Year. My hope for Prosper is that as our town grows, the way we take care of each other and celebrate each other continues to grow as well.” - Rachel Holt

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Machelle Scogin Nominated For: Machelle Scogin has taught in Prosper for 18 years. She has been assistant principal and is now the current principal at Rucker Elementary for the past 5 years. She recently moved to McKinney but before lived in Prosper over 16 years. She has not only shaped the minds of current and past students but has the biggest heart to where she can shape the mind of anyone she comes in contact with. When I think of Prosper and the way it has changed over the past 10 years or so, I can’t help of think of Machelle. She has seen Prosper change and grow to the community it is now, and I can't help but say she has helped Prosper grow in many ways also. Machelle has been nominated and attended Harvard University 3 years in a row for an outstanding Principal/Educator conference. She devotes her time and love to her family, her students, her school and her town. Everyone in Prosper knows her, loves her and cherishes her. I cannot think of anyone more deserving for this than Machelle Scogin. “I am blessed to be married to my husband, Jim, for 28 years with daughters-Morgan(25), Madison(22), and son-Mason (almost 12-his words). After living in Prosper for a year and staying home, I found myself missing the classroom. I was offered a job to teach Kindergarten at Prosper Elementary, later to be named Judy Rucker Elementary. I loved every minute of my time at the Kindergarten, First, and Second grade levels and thought I would teach forever. Little did I know, my mentor and principal at the time, Holly Ferguson, saw something beyond the classroom in me and said, “You need to get your masters in administration.” With the support and encouragement from the likes of Jana Thompson, Brenda Keener, Drew Watkins, and Holly Ferguson, I served as a Mentor Coach, Assistant Principal, and Principal over the span of 3 years. Initially, what drew me to Prosper was the charming, friendly, small town that felt similar to the places both my husband and I were raised-Boerne and Mason, Texas. Today, while small isn’t an adjective I would use, I add words such as heart, service oriented, family, and home. Some examples of these attributes that I have personally had the honor to witness and be a part of are Clothe a Child, Cornerstone Christmas, and Bethlehem Place Food Drive. I love seeing the Prosper community come together to support families financially, emotionally, and physically who are in need due to terminal illness, sudden loss, and life changes. Being given the opportunity to give back to families who need assistance has given me the ability to pay it forward knowing how special and thankful I was when as a child, our family was given the gift of Christmas, needed clothing, and food that life’s circumstances couldn’t provide at the time. I love that Prosper is about people, traditions, and celebrations knowing that we are more alike than we are different. I love that Prosper continues to celebrate community in events such as Homecoming Parade, 4th of July Picnic, a community park build, all things sports, grand openings of grocery stores, restaurants, etc. My vision for the Town of Prosper as well as for all the students, families, and staff that I serve would be to ensure that as we continue to grow exponentially, we don’t lose sight of the very things that are the reason Prosper, Texas is where families choose to move to, choose to stay, and choose to be proud about. My vision for the fast-growing Town of Prosper aligns with my vision for the fast growing Prosper ISD. Relationships and partnerships aligned with a shared vision of all stakeholders is essential for the Town of Prosper and Prosper ISD to maintain the “Who we are” and “Why we do it” so as to preserve the very essence of the tagline…WE ARE PROSPER! When I heard that I had been nominated for Prosper Person of the Year, I was quite frankly in shock. I felt honored and humbled at the same time knowing the many great people who have been nominated before are also the very people I admire and am inspired by daily. I love serving the students, teachers, and families in the Town of Prosper and Prosper ISD.”

Betsy Winters Nominated For: Every time I am at a community event I see Betsy’s smiling face. She is the head of Bethlehem place and serves the community there with a smile. I have never seen Betsy frown or be rude to anyone even when times get hard. She loves Prosper and her love and hard work shows it. “I grew up near Seattle, Washington. My husband and I met in church when we were 7 and 9. We have 5 kids, 12 very fun grandchildren and two more on the way. My favorite thing is hearing someone laugh, especially a family member. I’ll almost do anything to make it happen. I watch good people, youth and adults, with differing beliefs and backgrounds, volunteer at Bethlehem Place. They treat each other and our patrons with love and respect. The joy in the service seems to build bridges and unify. I feel blessed to live in such a community. In subsequent years, I imagine Prosper residents will continue to be committed to community charities in donating items, time and money. I’m excited about the high standards in education led by outstanding school district leadership. I have been especially impressed at the support from the community for the fight to maintain religious freedom. When first hearing I’d been nominated I was congratulated during a Rotary meeting. I thought she was mistaken and downplayed the error by laughing. When she proved it to me, I was embarrassed at the attention. There are so many friends and associates who make what I try to do enjoyable and fun. It doesn’t feel like I’m serving.”- Betsy Winters

February 2018 |



In His Presence

You Were Made to Love February is upon us, and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Love is a key theme this month and is also a key theme in the Bible. In fact, it is the theme. To see why, let’s go back in time to about 2000 years ago. We’re no longer in Prosper, but are now in the capital city of Jerusalem, nestled in the rocky hills of Judea, with the Jewish Temple gleaming in the afternoon sunshine. It is a busy time of the year, as thousands of people have gathered in the city for the nation-wide celebration of Passover. Jesus of Nazareth was there that week. His teachings and miracles caused a stir in the city. Many were asking, “Could this be the long-awaited Messiah?” Others weren’t so sure. One observer stepped forward to ask Jesus a question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36). Now that was a tricky one. Not even the Rabbis agreed on the answer. There were over 600 laws they observed. How in the world could Jesus elevate just one over all the rest? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (vv. 37-38).

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Jesus answered the question by quoting one of their most familiar verses of scripture: Deuteronomy 6:5. Many Jewish people recited that verse twice a day. Some had it written on their doorposts, while others wore that verse in a box on their forehead or arm. Of the many biblical commands, over 600 in all, Jesus pulls one of the most basic, most familiar, and most fundamental -- Love God. Love God with all you’ve got: Heart, soul, mind, and as Mark’s gospel tells us, “with all your strength.” Here’s the greatest news I think we can hear as human beings: We have the awesome privilege of being invited into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Not one built on religious duty… going here… doing that… observing this… but a HEART relationship. Yes, and even more -- a LOVE relationship -- with the God of the universe. How amazing is that? As we enter February and think about love, I hope you’ll consider Jesus’ call to love God with everything you’ve got. When our hearts are right with God, our hearts can also be right with our spouses, our families, our friends, and our Prosper neighbors. John Herring is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Prosper. Please visit www. for more information about services and events.

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Your Landscaping Should Always Embrace Your Lifestyle


with Jimmie Gibson Jr.

The foundation to any great landscaping should always begin with a plan or design. I would strongly encourage anyone who has been contemplating taking on a yard project to have a good game plan in mind. One of the first things I try to get a good feel for on my first visit to a client’s home is their lifestyle. This is a very important thing to consider in my job of properly designing an appropriate landscape for them. How much you end up maintaining your new landscaping will be determined right from the start. There are many different styles and types of landscaping. Some of the more popular ones are “Natural”, “Formal”, “Xeriscape”, “Japanese”, “English”, “Tropical”, Water Gardens, etc. However the two most used are “Natural” and “Formal” so lets take a closer look at those two in particular. The “Natural” style of landscaping uses planted beds with curved edges. Plants are arranged in seemingly random patterns. It also reflects the natural way that plants grow in an area…this style has a less manicured appearance than many of the other garden styles. This might be a good choice if you do not wish to spend a lot of time on maintenance. A “Formal”

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style of landscaping follows symmetrical patterns, straight lines and precise geometric shapes with orderly, well pruned plants. You will often find more topiary designs in these types of landscapes. This landscaping style often requires a lot of maintenance. Formal landscapes, if not maintained regularly can actually look neglected pretty quickly. I recently met with a retired couple that wanted some help redesigning their existing landscape. After visiting with them it became apparent that their exercise, hobby, therapy, and real enjoyment in life was gardening. A “Formal” landscape seemed to fit their lifestyle. At the other end of the spectrum, one evening last week I met with a couple whose lifestyle consisted of; mom works full time, dad has two jobs, they had five children of all ages, they have to be at basketball practice, dance lessons, gymnastics, piano lessons, soccer practice and church activities. Obviously a “Formal” type landscape would not be appropriate for this family…however a “Natural” landscape design would be a perfect fit for this “on the go” household. So, as you can see, it’s important to stop and think about your own lifestyle when you start planning or designing your new or renovated landscape. If you’re not careful you can be a slave to something you really don’t have time for. I strongly recommend that before you start your next landscaping project, sit down for a few minutes and think about what style might fit you most appropriately. You will be glad you did!! Once you have determined the style of landscaping that fits your lifestyle

the next step is to actually move forward with the design process. This also can be accomplished in a number of ways depending on the size of your project. If the area or areas you’re working in are relatively small, you might be able to simply get by with a quick sketch. If your project includes a very large area or multiple large areas on a pretty big scale, you may want to proceed by hiring a designer to help you with a more advanced drawing or blueprints that will be exactly to scale. With today’s technology, you can actually have a computerized design made that shows you a virtual “walk-thru” of your new landscaping. This can be very expensive though and if your project is fairly small, you may want to be more cost efficient and use more of your budget toward your actual project. Your landscape professional can help you decide that.

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Question: Jimmie, I just had a pool installed in my backyard and am now ready to landscape it. I moved here from Florida and really miss that tropical feel. Are there any tropical things I can plant here to make me a little less homesick? Nancy L. in Prosper Answer: Hi Nancy, I have good news for you! There are actually quite a few tropical plantings that do pretty well here. In particular for height centerpieces you may want to consider Windmill Palm trees or Sabal Palm trees, they are two of the heartiest of the Palms for our zone climate with really no need for wrapping trunks with burlap in the winter etc. Sago Palms are also used frequently as a lower tier to the taller centerpiece Palms but you need to be willing to cover the foliage on them if a hard freeze is on it’s way, if you don’t cover it and it does freeze, simply cut the foliage back to the main trunk and it will totally refoiliate by early summer the next year. Oleander is a great tropical shrub to use here with wonderful flowers all summer long, just be careful that you don’t have small children that might eat the foliage since it can be poisonous if ingested. Some great perennials to use would be Hardy Hibiscus and Verbena. For annuals use Tropical Hibiscus, Mandevilla, and Bougainvillea and Crotons. Until next time……Happy gardening, -Jimmie Send your landscaping and gardening questions to Jimmie Gibson Jr. at http://www. or jimmie@

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26 | February 2018


Community Connection

Prosper Ladies Association Prosper Ladies Association has become a staple in our community. These ladies come together to serve families, children and local non-profits in our area. The purpose of the Prosper Ladies Association (PLA) is to provide opportunities to serve the people and needs of our community by promoting charitable works and organizing events that advocate hospitality and goodwill. PLA meets every month and while their meetings are lots of fun, they are also very busy serving others all year long. They fund and staff Prosper’s Light Lunch Ministry, a summer program that feeds children in our district on free/reduced lunch program and Angel Tree at Christmas. They give support to partner nonprofits such as Bethlehem Place and Cornerstone NCT. PLA assists in funding the Prosper Community Scholarship through Prosper Education Foundation, a scholarship for students of Prosper High School who choose to attend Collin College after graduation. PLA plans and hosts the Prosper Fire and Prosper Police annual banquets. They honor our local heroes and their spouses and fund the Chief Tucker scholarship for PHS graduates wishing to become a firefighter.

How can you get involved? • Any woman can join by attending a meeting held at The Gin every fourth Monday at 7pm. You can join the organization by paying a membership fee. The fees range from as little as $50 per year to business partner level at $500 per year. • Attend Boots and Bling, PLA’s biggest fundraiser, on February 24th at Rock Creek Ranch. Tickets are available through their website • Volunteer to help! They have many opportunities throughout the year to serve. For example, attend the March meeting and participate in stuffing Easter baskets to be given out through Bethlehem Place at Easter! PLA’s President Stephanie Funk says that there are lots of exciting opportunities coming to build community, but more importantly, to serve the people in our area. Watch for news on an exciting family event coming in May and for new opportunities to volunteer! To get plugged in, check out PLA’s FB page @ProsperLadies and their website or drop them an email at

February 2018 |


28 | February 2018

120 Years and Growing Strong


By Kevin Ray

First Baptist Church Prosper is celebrating its 120th anniversary on February 18, 2018. First Prosper was founded on February 18, 1898 by 24 charter members in Rock Hill. In 1902, the church bought 2 lots of land in the heart of Prosper for only $50 and moved to the corner of Second Street and Church Street where they remained until 1985. They eventually expanded the building and added land. In 1985 they began construction of the current building at 601 South Church Street. Recently, this building has undergone a complete transformation including interior renovations. We look forward to celebrating our 120th Anniversary in our beautiful, newly updated building. We would love for you to join us on Sundays for small groups for all ages at 9:30 a.m. and Worship at 10:45 a.m. For more information about the church visit our website at

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30 | February 2018

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PROSPER Magazine | February 2018  

Prosper's Person of the Year Patty Felan

PROSPER Magazine | February 2018  

Prosper's Person of the Year Patty Felan