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We Are Prosper!

Celebrating Our Nation’s Veterans The Prosper Lady’s Association The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Preparing For Cornerstone Christmas And Ways You Can Help

Thanksgiving November 2013 | VOL II, Issue 3

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November 2013

Features 14

Prosper’s First Responders -

A 4 Part Series Looking into the Life of Prosper’s First Responders

Celebrating our Nation’s Veterans - 16

Celebrating Our Nation’s Veterans pg. 16

An Interview with Sergeant Clay Funk, Texas Army National Guard

Prosper Chamber Banquet -


Prosper Ladies Association -


A Look at this Year’s Winners

The Heart of Prosper

Cornerstone Christmas -


Giving Hope During the Holiday Season

Columns Prosper Event Calendar -


Events and Activities In and Around Prosper

Letter From the Publishers “The Season of Blessings”

In Good Taste -



Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

Healthy Solutions-


Well Child Exams - by Dr. Jon Thomas

In HIS Presence -


Community Devotional - Giving Thanks

Eagle’s Nest -


Growing Up in Prosper

Prosper Vision -


A Look at Prosper’s Past and Future

On The Cover: Sergeant Clay Funk, Texas Army National Guard. His Wife Katie and Daughter Colbie. Photo by - Cedarbrook Media

6 | Live & Prosper Magazine

November | 2013

Engagements & Weddings Pregnancy & Newborns Children Teens & Seniors Families Special Events Home - 972.347.5880 Cell - 360.981.6458

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821 N. Coleman, Suite 110, Prosper, TX 75078 | 972.347.1700 | Flyer.indd 1

Thanksgiving | 4/4/13 10:17 AM


Prosper Events

November 2013 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 11th 12th 13th

Eagle Tennis State Tournament Lady Eagles Volleyball @ PHS Lady Eagles Basketball @ Saginaw Eagle Football @ PHS Eagle Tennis State Tournament Eagle Cross Country @ Vandergriff Park PHS Bowling @ Allen Bowl Lady Eagles Volleyball Bi-District Eagle Golf @ Dallas Country Club Eagle Basketball @ Denton High Lady Eagles Volleyball Bi-District Lady Eagles Basketball @ Creekview Eagles Swim & Dive @ McKinney ISD Natatorium Prosper Rotary Club Meeting – Cotton Gin 7:30am PHS Bowling @ Allen Bowl PHS NHS Induction Ceremony Lady Eagles Volleyball Area Lady Eagles Volleyball Area Eagle Golf @ Frisco Lakes Lady Eagles Basketball @ PHS Eagles Swim & Dive @ LISD Aquatic Center Eagle Football @ Frisco High Lady Eagles Volleyball Area Eagle Cross Country @ Old Settlers Park Eagle Golf @ Frisco Lakes Eagles Basketball @ Richardson Eagles Swim & Dive @ LISD Aquatic Center Veterans Day Lady Eagles Volleyball Regionals Prosper Chamber Meeting – Gentle Creek 7:30am Prosper Town Council Meeting 6:00pm Prosper 5-0: Updates to Medicare and Obamacare Lady Eagles Volleyball Regionals Eagles Basketball @ PHS Lady Eagles Basketball @ Keller Eagle Swim @ McKinney Prosper Rotary Club Meeting – Cotton Gin 7:30am Lady Eagles Volleyball Regionals

8 | Live & Prosper Magazine

Lady Eagles Volleyball Regionals 14th Prosper’s Senior Citizen Dinner 5:00 – Presbyterian Church 15th Lady Eagles Volleyball Regionals Eagles Basketball @ Denton Ryan Lady Eagles Basketball @ Keller PHS Bowling @ Allen Bowl 16th Lady Eagles Volleyball Regionals Lady Eagles Wrestling @ Plano East 18th Eagle Golf @ The Tribute PISD School Board Meeting 7:00pm Prosper Ladies Association – 1st Annual Holiday Market Place 19th Eagles Basketball @ PHS Eagles Swim @ Austin College 20th Prosper Rotary Club Meeting – Cotton Gin 7:30am Eagle Wrestling @ Allen High School 21st Lady Eagle Basketball @ Allen Eagles Swim & Dive @ Frisco ISD Natatorium Lady Eagle Basketball @ Allen 22nd Eagle Wrestling @ Arlington Martin Eagles Basketball @ PHS 23rd Lady Eagle Basketball @ Allen Eagle Wrestling @ Arlington Martin Eagles Swim & Dive @ Frisco ISD Natatorium PHS Bowling @ Plano Super Bowl 25th PISD No School Lady Eagles Volleyball State @ Cullwell Center Eagles Basketball @ PHS Lady Eagles Basketball @ Byron Nelson 26th PISD No School Prosper Chamber Meeting – Gentle Creek 7:30am Prosper Town Council Meeting 6:00pm Lady Eagles Volleyball State @ Cullwell Center Eagles Basketball @ PHS 27th PISD No School Prosper Rotary Club Meeting – Cotton Gin 7:30am 28th Happy Thanksgiving!! PISD No School 29th PISD No School

November | 2013

Letter from the Publishers

Live &



zin aga




We Are Prosper! Executive Publishers Jason & Heather Reynolds Editorial/Marketing Director Heather Reynolds Editor Marla J. Thomas, PhD Production/Creative Director Jason Reynolds Contributing Writers Dr. Jon Thomas Heather Reynolds Marla J. Thomas, PhD Pastor Jack Graham Photography Contributors Cedarbrook Media Jeannie Naumann Photography Production / Design Cedarbrook Media Group


Live & Prosper Magazine All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The title and all material are protected by international copyright laws and are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the publisher’s permission. 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 Live & Prosper Magazine nor Cedarbrook Media Group can be held liable for omissions, inexactness or errors.

To be a part of upcoming issues, please contact Live & Prosper Magazine PO Box 405 Prosper, Texas 75078

469.481.2935 A Publication of Cedarbrook Media Group



The Season for Blessings We are entering into our favorite, and the busiest, time of year!! With Halloween and that sugar high behind us, we can start planning for our family Thanksgiving – which I have the pleasure of hosting this year!! My sister-inlaw and I decided a few years ago to rotate between our homes, and this is my year! I love hosting our family at Thanksgiving – the preparation, decorating, cooking, baking and most importantly, having our children and extended family under one roof together. It may seem like a lot of work and take a lot of time, but the memories we create and the time we share together make it all worth it! Last year we started a new tradition, the Blessing Tree. We each wrote down what we were thankful for on a foam leaf and attached them to a centerpiece tree branch. Then, before dinner, we read them aloud, and have saved them for reflection this year as we write our blessings in 2013. Years from now we can look back and see how our children have grown and matured in their prayers and blessings. And with our busy schedules, it’s also a great way to slow down and appreciate all we are blessed with and all we have to be thankful for. As you are counting and appreciating blessings with your own families, I hope that you will consider giving of your time, resources and expertise to one of the many nonprofit organizations in Prosper. There are so many ways that you can help, and ways that you can be a blessing to others. We are a very fortunate community, but even here in Prosper we have neighbors in need. The great thing about Prosper is that we believe and operate as a family unit, picking one another up when down, assisting when needed and caring for each other’s families. That’s the Prosper way, and the thing that sets us apart from other communities. We highlight a wonderful family and a couple of great organizations in this issue, and hope that you enjoy reading about the amazing ways they are blessing our community. Cornerstone celebrated a great event a couple of weeks ago with their 2nd Annual Give Hope Vision Dinner, and is now gearing up for Cornerstone Christmas. The event will take place at Prosper High School on December 15th. Cornerstone plans to provide Christmas to over 60 families this year, and we need the community’s help to make that happen! There are many ways you can help, either by volunteering your time, donating toys, gift card or money, or helping with setup and execution to ensure that the day runs smoothly. The Town of Prosper will also be doing a Toy Drive during the Prosper Christmas Festival on December 14th. The Prosper Ladies Association was recently formed to assist various nonprofits with their efforts, and to provide another avenue for the women of Prosper to give back to their community. Their first meeting was held in September, and they will meet on the 3rd Monday of each month through the school year. In lieu of a membership meeting in November, they will be doing a fundraiser – the 1st Annual Holiday Market Place. There will be over 50 vendors selling great gift items from 6:00 – 9:00pm on November 18th. Please consider joining this great group of women, the Heart of Prosper!

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Tips t o Roast ing

In Good Taste

t he Perfect Turkey

It’s that time of year again when everyone starts asking how to roast a turkey. Even those who are great cooks already can be intimidated by the idea of roasting the all mighty bird. However, roasting a turkey is actually just as easy as roasting a chicken – it may take a little longer, but in the end, there’s no reason why you can’t have a tender, delicious, drama-free dinner. Here are some tips to help you roast your Thanksgiving turkey to perfection. First things first: thaw your bird completely before putting it in the oven. Thaw it in the fridge for a few days - up to four, depending on the size of your turkey. 400°F is the perfect temperature for cooking a whole bird. You’ll get crispy skin without compromising tenderness. Depending on the size of your bird, it should take anywhere from 3-6 hours to roast at 400°F. I highly recommend a meat thermometer; one that stays in the turkey while it cooks and lets you set an alarm for when it reaches the proper temperature. This keeps you from continually opening the oven door, which will greatly increase your cooking time. Basting the bird won’t give you crispier skin. In fact, you’ll get limp, soggy skin and it only marginally affects the flavor. Some argue that rubbing the entire bird with fat, inside and out, doesn’t affect the flavor, but I disagree. It depends on the fat, though - olive oil won’t give you a flavor boost, but butter mixed with a heaping dose of salt and herbs will yield a tasty dish indeed. It doesn’t matter what orientation you roast your turkey in. Breast up, breast down, flipped over halfway through or hanging from the rafters - no position will make the breast moister. Stuffing some flavored fat (such as butter with salt and herbs) under the skin will help flavor meat, but don’t go overboard. Too much fat will just just make the meat greasy. They (whoever “they” are) say that you’re supposed to cook a whole turkey to 180°F, but I find that 170° yields a perfectly moist bird that’s still cooked completely through. Make sure to measure in the thickest part of the breast. I don’t recommend stuffing your turkey before roasting, and this can lead to all sorts of holiday misery - namely salmonella. However, I like to fill the bird with aromatic vegetables and fruits, such as onions, celery, carrots, apples and oranges. Let your bird rest for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven. A good 20 minute nap will let everything settle and keep the moisture where it belongs: in the meat. The easiest way to guarantee that pieces of breast will be moist is to let them soak in the bird’s juices for a few minutes after they’ve been cut. This includes the fatty runoff from what you’ve rubbed over the surface or stuffed under the skin. You want the entire turkey to roast evenly and have crispy skin all over, so consider elevating it off the surface of the roasting pan. A good-sized roasting rack will do the trick, which allows air to circulate under the bird - crisping it all the way around. Don’t waste the juices in the bottom of the pan! Reduce in a saucepan with a little white wine, add cornstarch and you’ve got an amazing gravy. 10 | Live & Prosper Magazine

November | 2013

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

In Good Taste

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed milk 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon salt 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shells Directions: Preheat oven to 425*F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350*F and continue baking 35 – 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Allow to cool and garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator. An easy tip that makes a big difference in taste – in a medium pan over low heat, combine the canned pumpkin puree, spices and salt. This will take out the “canned” taste of the pumpkin and melds the spices together nicely. Then pour the mixture out into another bowl and let it cool a bit before adding the condensed milk and eggs. Another easy suggestion – let the pie cool on the oven rack, because it cools more slowly that way. If you take it out onto the kitchen counter, the filling will sometimes crack because of the cold air. Thanksgiving |


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12 | Live & Prosper Magazine

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The Town


ndoubtedly, Prosper is a town with high standards that strives for excellence in all endeavors, big and small. And, our Police Department, which is committed to “Service, Integrity, Professionalism,” is no exception. Continuing our series on Prosper’s First Responders, Live and Prosper Magazine had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Assistant Police Chief, Gary McHone, and Police Officer, Marty Nevil. After learning about the history of the Prosper Police Department, as well as their strong commitment to “serve and protect,” it is evident we are in good hands.

Prosper’s First Responders

Law enforcement in Prosper began in the early 1960s and was led by Town Marshall, VC Spradley, as well as a few reserve officers. Old, handwritten court docket books, which the department still maintains, reflect the early history. Yet, it was not until 2001 that our first and current Police Chief, Chief Kirk McFarlin, was hired and Prosper law enforcement became formalized. Becoming a formalized department does not happen overnight and, as Assistant Chief McHone explained, the department worked tirelessly to establish a strong foundation by creating and implementing all necessary policies and procedures, which are based on best practices. Initially, the department consisted of 2 full-time staff who worked out of an old schoolhouse at 109 South Main Street. Although the schoolhouse served the department well, jokingly, rumor had it

Part 3

by Marla Thomas, Phd

that the schoolhouse was haunted! Yet, the seemingly haunted schoolhouse did not slow the department down and, in 2009, the department “went live with our first dispatch center,” allowing the department to independently receive 911 calls and dispatch for both the police and fire departments without assistance from the Frisco dispatcher, as previously necessary.

Paralleling the rapid growth of the town, currently, the department is housed across in 2 locations (110 West Broadway Street and 101 South Main Street), includes 4 sections (Administration, Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Communications), and consists of 25 employees. This includes 15 full-time police officers, 2 reserve officers, 7 full-time dispatchers, and 1 part-time dispatcher. As Assistant Chief McHone shared, “Our hiring standards are high and we have a group of highly qualified employees,” with most employees having prior experience and several employees serving as military veterans. Moreover, the department firmly believes in continued training/education and many employees have chosen to specialize in areas of interest to them. Such areas of specialization include: Accident Reconstruction, Drug Recognition, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), and Public Information. Innovation and novel thinking is also valued by the department. As Assistant Chief McHone explained, “If we’re all thinking alike, then nobody’s thinking; we want people to have ideas; we want to be a progressive department.” In

“Service, Integrity, Professionalism”

14 | Live & Prosper Magazine

November | 2013

The Town

further pursuit of excellence, the dept is currently preparing to embark on a rigorous recognition process overseen by the Texas Association of Chiefs of Police, which will further give the department a “seal of approval.” In less than 12 short years, the department has mastered the daunting task of establishing a strong foundation and, in doing so, they have kept community service and involvement at the forefront of their mission. As Assistant Chief McHone explained, “We are truly a community-based and community-oriented police department; focus on community-based policing has always been the foundation that we believe in.” This is evident in the department’s actions, as employees regularly reach out to get to know residents, patrol neighborhoods, participate in community events, promote safety education and crime prevention, and readily respond to concerns voiced by the community. With a voice of pride in his staff, Assistant Chief McHone shared, “I’ve never seen a group of employees in 23+ years of law enforcement that will go above and beyond and bend over backwards as much as these folks here.” He then added, “It’s not because they’re forced to, that’s just the culture, the expectation.”

McHone explained, “Those seconds could potentially save a life because we don’t have to ask; it’s right there.” When asked if there is anything else they would like the community to know about the Prosper Police Department, Assistant Chief McHone said it best, as he captured the department’s commitment to “Service, Integrity, and Professionalism.” “We’re here to do our job; we’re here to protect and serve; we have a responsibility to uphold the law. It’s our belief people should be treated as we’d want our families treated; with respect and professionalism. Hands down, past everything else, no matter how big we get or how shiny our badges are, we treat people with respect and professionalism; that’s the basis and should be the basis of any department. We have a group of the absolute best people that you could think of. Every single employee is a good person to the core; I believe that until I’m proven otherwise.”

The Prosper Police Department’s commitment to the community is further exemplified in the vast number of community programs they support. Such programs include, but are not limited to: National Night Out, Citizens on Patrol, Operation ID, Kid Print ID, Home Security Surveys, Cops Expo, Volunteers in Police Service, Driver Safety Recognition, McGruff Safe House, Red Ribbon Week, Stranger Danger, Internet Safety, and “Cops with Claus.” This December, the department will implement their Driver Safety Recognition program, by approaching cars that are already stopped and recognizing good citizen behavior (e.g., wearing seatbelt, using child safety seat, stopping completely at a stop sign) with a small token of appreciation. Also this winter, the department will again collect donations for the “Cops with Claus” program, which aims to help identified community members who are in need over the holiday season. As Assistant Chief McHone explained, in 2009, the program collected an amazing $11,000 in donations and was able to help several needy families, “That’s what Prosper’s all about.” When asked about any other up-and-coming programs, Assistant Chief McHone and Office Nevil eagerly shared about Smart 911, a national and free program that confidentially holds pertinent safety data to assist in the event of emergency situations. Generally, community members who are interested in participating in Smart 911 can provide as much or as little information as they choose (e.g., names and ages of family members, number of pets, medical conditions, medications). Then, in an event of an emergency, dispatch would have immediate access to the relevant information to facilitate efficient emergency response. As Assistant Chief Thanksgiving |


The People

Celebrating Our Nation’s Veterans An Interview with Sergeant Clay Funk, Texas Army National Guard by Marla J. Thomas, PhD

“On this Veterans Day, let us remember the services of our veterans, and let us renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” -Dan Lipinski

Veterans Day, November 11th, is an official United States holiday to celebrate the service of all military veterans. In an effort to help us reflect on and celebrate our veterans, Prosper resident, Sergeant Clay Funk, alongside his wife, Katie, and three year-old daughter, Colbie, graciously offered to share his military experiences, reminding us of the many, many veterans, as well as active duty men and women, who have served or continue to serve our country with such honor. Throughout his military career, which is still in progress, Sergeant Funk has dedicated 12 years of service. His path began in 1998 when he chose to join the active duty Marine Corps. During this time, he spent 2 years in Okinawa, Japan and 1 year in Paris Island, South Carolina, with his military occupation specialty (MOS) being military police. In 2004, Sergeant Funk joined the Navy Reserve and, on the very day he joined, “September 11th, 2004,” he met his now wife, Katie. From 2007-2010, Sergeant Funk took some time off from the military, during which his beautiful daughter, Colbie, was born. Yet, having an innate passion to serve his country, it did not take long before Sergeant Funk returned to his calling by joining the Army National Guard in 2010. As Sergeant Funk explained, “I really missed being in the military; some people were born to do it and I’m just one of those people.” After volunteering, undergoing an intensive application process, and being chosen to serve, Sergeant Funk completed a 9-month deployment mission in Kabul, Afghanistan from 9/2012 to 6/2013. As part of the 36th Infantry Division for the Army National Guard, Sergeant Funk and the 136 Maneuver Enhancement Brigade out of Round Rock, TX were stationed at Camp Phoenix under the operational control of Brigadier General Hall. The unit’s primary mission was to operationally run 8 camps, as well as train the Afghan people to “take the lead in securing their own country.” With regard to the

16 | Live & Prosper Magazine

latter, the unit facilitated progress by training the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army, as well as assisting in the development of necessary irrigation canals, schools, parks, and hospitals. Serving as a team lead for the Protective Service Detail for the Task Force Centurion Commanding General, Sergeant Funk assumed several important responsibilities. As Convoy Commander, he primarily worked “outside the wire,” which means outside the relatively secure confines of the camp. In doing so, Sergeant Funk successfully carried out 190 missions, as he efficiently and safety transported 1109 individuals “outside the wire” without loss of life. Additionally, he played a role in training others and was

“I really missed being in the military; some people were born to do it and I’m just one of those people”

accountable for the safekeeping and maintenance of millions of dollars worth of vehicles, electronics, and other equipment. As Sergeant Funk explained, “the operational tempo was pretty high” and, in the little free-time he had, Sergeant Funk often chose to assume additional responsibilities, as well as complete college courses. November | 2013

The People

During the interview, Sergeant Funk spoke in a confident voice, clearly knowledgeable and incredibly proud of his country. Yet, he was humble, reluctant to “toot his own horn” or praise his many accomplishments. Even so, Sergeant Funk showed us his prestigious Meritorious Service Medal, which he received for his outstanding service. In his modest words, Sergeant Funk simply stated, “I earned it for doing my job and doing it well.” When asked about the threat of danger, Sergeant Funk shared, “Afghanistan is still a dangerous place; there’s always the threat of danger and those things (e.g., improvised explosive device-IED, suicide bombs, etc.) did happen while we were there.” Yet, he went on to explain the importance of maintaining composure, refraining from hesitating, and using military techniques, such as “tactical driving,” to mitigate threats. Sergeant Funk described the response of the Afghan people as “generally positive,” indicating most civilians were appreciative of the United States’ efforts to minimize Taliban threat, promote the economy, build necessary resources, and “secure Afghanistan to make it a better place for people to live in; that’s what people want, a better life.” When asked what he learned through his deployment, Sergeant Funk replied, “Afghanistan will open your eyes” and he described Afghanistan’s hardships, including severe poverty, disease (e.g., Polio), unfair treatment of women, and threat of the Taliban. Sergeant Funk went on to share, “Our problems are very insignificant compared to a place like Afghanistan; it really drives home the point that life in the United States is pretty good.”

“I’d go back tomorrow if I could”

When asked what initially compelled him to join the military, Sergeant Funk shared, “I just always felt like I had a calling to serve my country and I honestly couldn’t think of any bigger honor than being able to serve one’s country.” When asked what has been most challenging, Sergeant Funk quickly replied, “Being away from Katie and Colbie and having a little girl who really didn’t understand ‘why is daddy gone?’.” Yet, he added, “It’s a small price to pay; you go there to do things to keep the ones you love at home safe.” With a voice of love and complete support of her husband, Katie acknowledged, “He loves it,” and added, “What kind of wife would I be to stop him from doing what he loves?” When further asked what’s been most rewarding, Sergeant Funk replied, “being able to do my part; getting to do what I trained years for.” He went on to explain, “Making a lot of money doesn’t drive me. Doing something that makes a difference and being able to provide for my family by doing something I love is what does. There’s something about putting on the uniform and going out and doing a job that I know is vital to keeping others safe. I feel I made a difference; that’s the important part to me.” When asked what he would like the people of Prosper to take away from his story, Sergeant Funk shared, “Our mission in Afghanistan is very important. We’re there helping the Afghan people, helping them help themselves, which is the American dream.” Sergeant Funk added, “were not alone,” explaining several other countries, including Bulgaria, Romania, France, Great Britain, Australia, Mongolia, Japan, and others are all involved in Afghanistan mission. When asked what the future might hold for his military career, Sergeant Funk readily replied, “I’d go back tomorrow if I could,” indicating he has already requested another deployment and, eventually, he hopes to attain officer status. In the meantime, Sergeant Funk is working full-time as a body shop estimator, taking classes to complete his Homeland Security degree, and enjoying quality time with his family here in Prosper. Prosper, this Veterans Day, and every day, please make an effort to celebrate and thank our military men and women, for they allow us to maintain our precious freedom. Happy Veterans Day to all! Thanksgiving |


DISCOVER GRACE! A Classical Christian Education

Open House Dates

\ October \ November \ December

2, 16, 30 6, 13, 20 4, 11

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2013 Awards Banquet & Silent Auction \Mrs. Jody Capehart, Head of School\


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November | 2013

Dealing with a heart condition can be challenging. Finding the right help isn’t.

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861 Coleman Prosper,Tx 75078 972-653-0308 20 | Live & Prosper Magazine

November | 2013

The Pride


ena Smith had a vision for the Town of Prosper, where a group of courageous and generous women would come together under one umbrella, in heart, mind, and spirit to unite, fund, and expand the already charitable hearts and needs of the local town as one very large collective nonprofit entity – the Prosper Ladies Association (PLA) – a nonprofit group that supports charitable causes in Prosper, Texas. The PLA is committed to making sure our community and neighbors are never alone and know where to turn for help and support. Mrs. Smith stated, “We envision the PLA will be the driving force to communicate and coordinate all charitable efforts within the Town of Prosper, working both independently and in a collaborative effort with already established charitable organizations such as: Bethlehem Place, Cornerstone, Meals on Wheels, etc.” As a nonprofit organization, we are dedicated to supporting the children, families, and charitable organizations in Prosper. We will organize fundraising efforts and special events throughout the year to help raise monetary funding for those in need.

in need, were on hand to share more about their organization and how the PLA can support them. They emphasized that one of their immediate needs is a volunteer grant-writer. In addition to the presentation by Cornerstone, Dr. Drew Watkins, superintendent of PISD, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Watkins spoke on the need for an organization, like PLA, to help PISD address the growing needs of its students in a systematic way. He said that out of a student population of 6,400 we currently have 100 homeless students. Their situations vary from not having their own home but living with another family to not having a place to live. Dr. Watkins states, “The District does what it can to address these needs but can use your help and are happy to have it!”

The Heart of Prosper

The Prosper Ladies Association held their first official meeting on Monday, September 30th, where more than 100 women from the Town attended, and over 50 joined that night. Lena shared the inspiration and vision to create this group, while emphasizing that PLA will support the efforts of other local nonprofits not duplicate efforts or compete. As such, representatives from Cornerstone, a Prosper based nonprofit organization whose mission is to unite with others to demonstrate Christ’s compassion by serving others


There are many volunteer opportunities and places to serve with PLA. We need strong women to step up and help us lead this new organization. The PLA welcomes all new members and any new or established nonprofit agencies that serve our community. Annual membership dues our $50. The Prosper Ladies Association monthly meetings will be on the 3rd Monday of every month, normally held at Gentle Creek Golf Club. However, the next meeting, Monday, November 18 at 7pm, will actually be their first fundraiser. Please join the PLA for their “Holiday Market Place” in Prosper at 3 R’s Ranch, located on Coit Rd, between Hwy 1461 and Prosper Trail. For further information and questions, please visit their website We look forward to seeing you all there! |


In Prosper!


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Health & Wellness

- Well Child Exams -


ell child exams are an integral service family physicians can provide to our community. Family Physicians are well-trained in the full scope of well child care, from newborn age up to adolescent age. At each well child exam, there will be a measurement of growth parameters, including height, weight, head circumference (until two years of age), body mass index, and screening measures for exposure to lead and tuberculosis. The examiner will note the child’s state of well-being, activity level, physical appearance, behavior and attitude, body habitus, nutritional status and developmental status, and note any parental concerns regarding the development of the child. Blood pressure is routinely obtained from three years of age onward. Well child office visits are typically scheduled for immediately after birth, 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 24 months (two years of age), and then yearly thereafter. During each well child visit there is an opportunity to update vaccinations. The following vaccinations are recommended: hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio, rotavirus, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella-zoster virus, influenza, meningococcus, and human papillomavirus. All children should receive a dental referral at or near their first birthday, or whenever their first teeth begin to develop. All children should have visual behavior exam from age six months to two years, and visual acuity screening starting at age three years. Call the office of Dr. Jon Thomas, Board Certified Family Physician, at 972-347-5778 or visit our website at to schedule your appointment online.

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24 | Live & Prosper Magazine

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In HIS Presence

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Thou that hast giv’n so much to me, Give one thing more, a grateful heart. Not thankful, when it pleaseth me; As if thy blessings had spare days: But such a heart, whose pulse may be Thy praise. —George Herbert Every year at the end of November, we join family and friends over a great feast to reflect upon blessings and give thanks to the Lord. Thanksgiving Day can be a wonderful time, a holy time, of pausing to express gratitude to God. But just like prayer and praise and listening to Him, thanksgiving isn’t only meant for special gatherings, for a date on the calendar, for a once-a-year celebration. The psalmist says in Psalm 34:1, I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. And the apostle Paul implores the church in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances.” In fact, it is the “will of God in Christ Jesus” that we do so. Gratitude enhances our relationship with the Lord not only by encouraging a spirit of joy but also by preparing our hearts to bless others ... to serve others ... to do the Lord’s work. Thanksgiving

By Pastor Jack Graham

One of God’s greatest blessings is calling His people to be a part of something greater than we could possibly know—the eternal impact of what we are doing as the mission of Christ followers. Every day, we should give thanks for the glorious opportunity to serve a sovereign and faithful God whose love endures forever. No matter what you are experiencing, good or bad, thanksgiving will not change your circumstances. But, thanksgiving and praise will change what your circumstances do to you. Your circumstances in life will either destroy you or can be a blessing to you if you learn how to give thanks. And when we say thank you, we recognize that beyond us and beyond our circumstances and beyond what’s going on in our lives, there is a sovereign God who loves us, who has a wonderful plan for our lives, who plans to give us a future and a hope, who is overall, above all, in all, through all, and in everything! So, today … and every day … we give thanks.

Dr. Jack Graham is pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, which has campuses in Prosper, Plano and Dallas. |


Cornerst one Christ mas

Give Hope This Holiday Season

by Heather Reynolds

“Uniting to demonstrate Christ’s compassion by serving our neighbors in need”

that family’s story, their struggles, their firm belief and their faith. Their story may be different than other families, but the hope, joy and faith are common denominators with each and every family that Cornerstone touches.

ornerstone Christmas will be held on December 15th at Prosper High School. It is a wonderful way to serve our local families in need by blessing them with the gifts and joy of Christmas. There are so many people, churches, businesses and organizations that get involved with making it a success – this event symbolizes the true spirit of Prosper and neighbor helping neighbor. Each family is given the opportunity to “shop” for their own gifts for their children, have them gift wrapped, pick up a stocking with Christmas goodies and even the opportunity to pick out decorations to adorn their home with. They are also provided with food, clothing and coats, if needed. It is a truly amazing experience that you and your family won’t soon forget after participating!

They were a new family to Cornerstone, humble and proud, but hoping fervently to provide a “normal” Christmas to their 3 younger boys. You see, the family had lost their father the previous year, and their mother had only worked part time cleaning houses. After his death, she took on many new houses to provide for her children, but she and her youngest son had fallen very ill in February, and she told us that at one point she was scared he wouldn’t make it. She lost many of those cleaning jobs over the course of several months while nursing her son and herself back to health. Her oldest son, only 19 years old, had taken on the responsibility for providing for his mother and 3 younger brothers. Barely out of high school, he worked whatever jobs he could find to keep food on the table. Financially and emotionally, they were just getting by, and there was certainly nothing extra for Christmas gifts. They didn’t know what to expect when we met with them, and frankly, neither did we. At first we thought the oldest brother was the father, because he referred to the boys as “his” and spoke of how generous we were to help provide a Christmas to his family. It wasn’t until his mother pulled me aside to tell me


Our family was blessed last year with the opportunity to serve as a Host Family, and we cannot wait to serve again this year! Our children still talk about the amazing family we walked with, prayed with and brought a sense of joy and hope to during the holiday season. I’d like to share a little bit about

26 | Live & Prosper Magazine

November | 2013

how proud she was of her son and everything he had sacrificed over the last 2 years to take care of her and his little brothers that we realized that he was just a child himself, not much older than our two oldest sons! As we continued to shop for the younger boys, they showed such appreciation and grace and each time we walked with them to a new station, the mother stopped, prayed and thanked us for everything we were doing for her children. Our last stop was the decorations table, and as we made our way over, the older brother asked if I thought there was a chance there would be a small tree – you see, his father had passed right after Christmas 2 years before, and theirs had been placed outside and ruined before they could store it away. The younger boys didn’t have a tree the year before, and he wanted so much for them to enjoy one this year! Unfortunately, we didn’t have any trees to give them, and you could read the disappointment on our children’s faces. My husband and I locked eyes, knowing what needed to be done and he slipped away. They then began to console OUR children, telling them that they had already received so much, and how grateful they were for what they had been given. We prayed together again, and then she began to pray over us, blessing us for walking with them that day. What an amazing, gracious blessing that this family had become to OUR family in 2 short hours!




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We began to load up the family’s Christmas joy, and my husband reappeared, with a small Christmas tree, tinsel and decorations for their family. He explained to them that he couldn’t bear the thought of those boys not having a tree and that we had an extra he wanted them to have. It was a moment that I will never forget, nor will our children. Although we helped provide them with a Christmas for their family, they provided so much more to us! If you are able to assist in this year’s Cornerstone Christmas, I implore you to do so!! There are many ways to participate – donating toys, clothing, coats, decorations, gift cards and money. You can also volunteer to be a Host Family, work one of the stations, set up for the day, etc. Please visit www. for full details. Please join us in giving hope this holiday season.

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Prosper ISD News

The Eagle’s Nest


Growing up in Prosper Seniors reflect on their last 13 years at PISD.


hen I first stepped foot at Rucker Elementary I could have never imagined that my classmates then would be the same classmates I would walk across the stage with at graduation. I was so excited to be a Prosper Eagle. Not very many kids are fortunate enough to go to school in the same district from kindergarten to graduation but I was. I knew that every day I walked into Rucker I was welcomed with open arms, from Rucker to Rogers to PHS that feeling held true. I remember when I was in Kindergarten, Addie Reames and I would chase boys around the playground until it was time to go to lunch, where we had a stoplight that would turn red if we got too loud. Needless to say when Addie and I stepped in the cafeteria it immediately turned red. As we moved on to Rogers as the “Big Kids” and all of our coolness our memories together continued. Now as I step foot into my senior year and I walk the halls with so many more kids going from 2A to 4A, from one elementary to four, from passing fields of corn to now rows of houses, I still pass friends that were in my kindergarten class and know that we will always be a part of the Prosper Eagle family. By Madison Scogin

28 | Live & Prosper Magazine


lthough some people seem to think of it as just a town, living in Prosper for the past 15 years of my life has been the most amazing experience. This town has grown so much since I’ve been here and its almost as if I’m part of the town. On my first day of kindergarten I met kids that to this day, are still a huge part of my life. To me, what makes Prosper so special is that no matter who lives here, no matter who left, they always come back because this place will always be home. Prosper is full of special memories not just to me but to everyone who lives here. My fondest memory in Prosper was my first day to actually attend Prosper Elementary (Rucker Elementary). I walked into my kindergarten class and then future All-State safety, Tyler Webb, surprised me with the unexpected accusation, “You’re Deion Sanders kid”. Of course this was false, but no matter where I go in life or what I do this memory will stay with me forever. By Chase Shupp

feel that my experience in Prosper, Texas is very unusual. Unlike most kids who have moved here sometime in the past ten years, I’ve been a Prosper ISD student since day one of Kindergarten. My journey began when I was four years old and my family decided to move from Plano. I was so young at the time, and moving really didn’t faze me; little did I know it would change my life forever. I remember when we moved here, the only restaurant we had was the Cotton Gin and the neighborhoods we see now were merely fields that never seemed to end. I didn’t think I’d see the change this town experienced. I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up with a town, as opposed to just growing up in a town. I honestly cannot think of a time in which I didn’t love being a student in Prosper ISD. Granted, living in a small town has its disadvantages, but since day one, I’ve known that I have something special. I’ve never been “the new kid” and I’ve never really had to make new friends; I say that with a great sense of humility because I know that I got very lucky. You would think that the kids who have been here since Kindergarten would be the ones who are the most ready to leave this place, however, we are not. Prosper is really all we’ve ever known, and leaving this place will be extremely bittersweet. Prosper is our safety net; it has never failed us, nor will it ever leave us. As a senior in high school, I can truly say that it’s been a good ride. This town will always mean more to me than words can describe, and I am forever grateful for my experience here. By Addie Reames November | 2013


Our Future Is A Reflection Of Our Past - Photo by Cedarbrook Media

If you would like to submit a photo for Prosper Vision, contact

/prospermagazine |


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972.346.2727 30 | Live & Prosper Magazine

November | 2013

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Prosper Magazine - November 2013  
Prosper Magazine - November 2013