Helotes Winter 2020

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Helotes Gateway to the Texas Hill Country

Winter 2020

The Official Magazine of the City of Helotes

Marvelously Made by Crystal Henry

Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department by Cynthia Leal Massey

Learning by Doing: Growing Leaders at Helotes 4-H by Dan R. Goddard


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Howdy Helotes

ow! It’s hard to believe that we just put another year behind us and have stepped into the third decade of the 21st century. I remember when, as we were getting ready to leave the 20th century behind at the end of 1999, scientists and so-called experts predicted that computers would crash, banks would fail, and the world would essentially stop functioning because of something called Y2K. For those of us who are old enough to remember that particular time in history, because of the dire predictions, there was a lot of apprehension as the turn of the century got closer. But, as with most predictions of doom and gloom, all the predictions were proven wrong when midnight on January 1, 2000 came and went without a glitch. As a result, everyone breathed a big sigh of relief, and life went on as normal. And here we are, twenty years later with so much new technology and countless innovations that have changed our lives and the way we will live forever. Without a doubt, Helotes has seen a lot of growth and change in those twenty years with our population more than doubling and the steady construction of new homes and businesses. Although I miss the old ways we lived our lives, the slower pace, the more personal ways we communicated with each other, and the overall quality of our lives those many years ago, I’m still excited about our future in Helotes during the years to come. We have worked hard to build a strong sense of community and I am continually grateful to have been able to call Helotes home for the past forty years. Overall, 2019 was a very productive and successful year for Helotes. Two major TxDOT construction projects, the intersection at Loop 1604 and Bandera Road and the new culvert at Bandera Road and Cedar Trail, were successfully completed. A third project, the widening of Hausman Road between Bandera Road and Loop 1604, was started mid-year and should be completed by the end of 2020. Two remaining projects, Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

By Mayor Tom Schoolcraft

the improvement of Bandera Road from Cedar Trail to Diamond K Trail and the widening of F.M. 1560 from Riggs Road to F.M. 471, are scheduled to start sometime between 2022 and 2024. All 26 of our City Sponsored community events in 2019 were successful with good weather and large crowds, beginning with our annual spring concert by the Helotes Area Community Band in April to the last Christmas concert in December. Our 12 Marketplace in Old Town Helotes events, held on the first Saturday of each month throughout the year, brought thousands of visitors to Helotes to shop for gifts and enjoy the wide variety of food from the many food booths. Our Independence Day Celebration, with a band concert and fireworks display, entertained more than 1,000 visitors with more than 800 people being shuttled between City Hall and Walmart. Our five Movie Nights at the Park each year have become a family favorite with each movie night bringing hundreds of movie goers to City Hall to enjoy an outdoor concert, good food, free door prizes, and a movie on the big outdoor screen. Our Cornyval and Lighted Christmas parades continue to grow, and both brought large crowds of visitors to town. October 2021 will be the 40th anniversary of the Incorporation of Helotes as a Type A, General Law city. We have grown from an area of just under three square miles to approximately seven square miles in area and have seen our population grow from a little less than 2,500 to an estimated 9,000 expected with the 2020 census. With all of that taken into consideration, Helotes is still recognized for its small-town charm and has received numerous recognitions through the years. One of the most notable was being selected by Bloomberg Business Week as “The Best Small Town in Texas to Raise Kids.” Over the last three years, we have enjoyed the challenge of putting together an informative quarterly Helotes magazine to bring you stories about our citizens, businesses, and events. However, our publisher has decided not to extend our contract so this will be the last magazine issue you will receive. We encourage you to stay in touch with what’s going on in Helotes by checking our website at www.helotes-tx.gov and linking to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Here’s wishing you a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2020!


Inside This Issue

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Howdy Helotes

Helotes Map

Marvelously Made


Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department Raising the Bar on Sweets


Fashion Boutiques in the Heart of Old Town

Learning by Doing: Growing Leaders at Helotes 4-H A Heart for Service Helotes Gallery Celebrates First Anniversary


A Citizen’s Guide to Stormwater Best Management Practices or Service


Helotes Fire and EMS Receive Upgraded State of Texas Licensure


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Advertiser Index

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


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Helotes Gateway to the Texas Hill Country

Magazine Credits Publisher

Louis Doucette | Traveling Blender, LLC louis@travelingblender.com


Andrea Wazir | editor@helotesmagazine.com


Advertising Sales




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Madeleine Justice | madeleine@travelingblender.com

Contributing Writers

Dan Goddard Crystal Henry Drew Henry Beth Graham Cynthia Leal Massey Mayor Tom Schoolcraft Helotes City Staff Helotes Public Relations

Graphic Designer

Jennifer Nelson

Contributing Photographers Dave Scepanski Jack Smith Tony Wazir

Editorial Committee Members Ken Dempsey Louis Doucette Glenn Goolsby Madeleine Justice Cynthia Leal Massey Tom Schoolcraft Andrea Wazir

Helotes City Council

Mayor Tom Schoolcraft Mayor Pro Tem Alex Blue Councilmember Alan Holmes Councilmember Cynthia Leal Massey Councilmember Paul Friedrichs Councilmember Bert Buys


Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country magazine is published by Traveling Blender, LLC (Publisher) on behalf of the City of Helotes. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or in part, is prohibited without the express written consent of the City of Helotes. Editorial and advertising material contained herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the City of Helotes, elected and appointed officials, or its staff. Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country magazine, the Publisher, and the City of Helotes reserve the right to edit all material for clarity and space and assume no responsibility for accuracy, errors, or omissions. Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country magazine does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertisements or editorial, nor does the Publisher or the City of Helotes assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear in the magazine. Articles and photos are welcome and may be submitted to our office to be used in the magazine, subject to the discretion and review of the Publisher, Editor, or the City of Helotes. All submissions become the property of Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country magazine and the City of Helotes, and the submitter confirms that all submissions, including photography, is either the submitter’s own work or the writer / photographer has provided permission to the submitter to use the content within the magazine. All Real Estate advertising is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make such a preference limitation or discrimination.” Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

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Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


Marvelously Made By Crystal Henry


fter close to 30 years in early childhood education, Jennifer McCarville has created a place for children. More than a machine churning out monotonous worksheets and other educational receipts, Marvelously Made is a place where children experience meaningful learning in a place that was designed for them. Children gleefully roam from indoor to outdoor classes, stopping to pet bunnies, observe goats, and dig for buried treasure in a sandpit the size of a swimming pool. It’s a child’s dream, and this revolutionary nonprofit happens to be right here in Helotes. “I strongly believe when you are for profit, it’s hard to be for children,” Jennifer said. Jennifer has worked in a variety of traditional education roles. She’s been a preschool and kinder teacher, an administrator and led educational trainings and accreditations. But she was never in a

place that felt just right. There were always wellintended, but misguided, policies getting in the way of how she knew we should truly honor children. “I would see children who were wilting over and over,” she said. Then 10 years ago she got the chance to do it her way. While she wasn’t actively looking for a role as an administrator, she was serendipitously given the reigns at a small Mother’s Day Out program at Helotes Hills Methodist Church. That role changed everything, and soon after she started, she was able to build a preschool around her knowledge of child development and brain research. She introduced learning through play by taking what she knew scientifically and experientially about what was best for children. “We look at what children need to thrive, and then we do it,” she said. “It’s that simple and that complex.” The school was founded on biblical principles and the idea that children were created by a God who doesn’t make mistakes. “God has made children well, and our job is to understand them,” Jennifer said. The grand idea of meaningful learning through play eventually outgrew the space at the church, and with the help of her partners Allison Poole, Kim Stallman, and some generous donors, McCarville secured a space on the corner in Old Town Helotes, and Marvelously Made - The School For Young Children was born. The school is housed in three buildings — the Farmhouse, the Greenhouse, and the Cottage. The Farmhouse is a magical fairy cottage with warm earth tones, soft lighting, and plenty of art supplies, dolls, books, and a


Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

“One of the big questions parents always ask is ‘Are they going to learn to read?’” Jennifer said. “And I always say ‘I don’t know. Are you reading to them every day?’” There are cozy spots throughout the school and no shortage of teachers and parent volunteers who are ready to curl up with a good book, but one of the biggest educational benefits of Marvelously Made is parent education. “Parenting is a developmental process and a journey,” Jennifer said. “Even if you come with all the knowledge in the world when they’re born, you don’t know your child yet. You have to get to know them.” Jennifer works to empower parents, so that even after they leave, they feel knowledgeable and prepared to advocate for their children. She said parents want good things for their children and making sure they’ve got the right tools is all part of her job. “Schools have an amazing responsibility and opportunity to help parents understand the why behind the what,” she said.

hedgehog. The Greenhouse used to house the kinder class; however, they now use it as an office and multipurpose space. And the Cottage is the newest expansion to Marvelously Made. It currently houses the primary program with kinder through third-graders learning and exploring in both the indoor and outdoor classrooms. Outdoor classrooms are the heart of the school. Each day the 3- and 4-year-olds spend their mornings choosing and exploring between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Jennifer said the most common thing she hears from parents when they first visit is that it looks so different from traditional schools. “It looks different because most places aren’t made for children,” she said. “We don’t get the development out of order.” Jennifer said everything they do is a partnership between parents, teachers, and the community. She said the First Baptist Church of Helotes has been incredibly supportive by providing space when they needed it for special events. And the school wouldn’t be successful without the dedication of parents and staff. In addition to the work of maintaining outdoor classrooms and student gardens, the school is also

It’s not uncommon to see little ones running barefoot through the grass and sandpits, or racing tricycles around as their imaginations are unleashed. There are structures that look a bit like a pirate ship, a clubhouse, and a stage. But only the children get to decide the purpose of each one. “We work to honor children’s development in genuine ways. And we put their social and emotional development at the forefront,” Jennifer said. Art and science collide as children mix baking soda and colored vinegar potions, and teachers are onhand with notebooks and pens just in case a child has a story they want to tell. The staff knows that literacy starts with language, so rather than drilling letters or measuring arbitrary reading levels, children are encouraged to dictate stories, which are later shared at gathering time. Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


home to a menagerie of animals including guinea pigs, a hedgehog, a bearded dragon, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, snails, hermit crabs, goats, chickens, fire belly toads, a tarantula, and a tortoise. They also have a Rabbitat full of bunnies that the children can go inside to visit. “Science is a living endeavor,” Jennifer said. The animals are just another part of educating the whole child, since they help not only teach life science, but they help children learn about respecting boundaries. Jennifer said the school is all about feeding the soul by nurturing kindness, and giving maker opportunities like woodworking, handworking, knitting, and creating. It’s all very important work, and it’s all backed by research, but it’s not what people are accustomed to seeing. “Even when parents may not understand what we do here, they know it feels right,” she said. Registration for the 2020-2021 school year will take place in February, and classes tend to fill up quickly. Parents can sign up for a tour of the school on the website at marvelouslymadeschool.com. Or, attend the annual Art Show on Saturday, March 28, 2020, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Helotes.


Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

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Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department By Cynthia Leal Massey


ld-timers remember the drought of the mid20th century, which started in 1950 and lasted for seven long years. One of the worst natural disasters in Texas history, it left the Lone Star State parched, farms and ranches relegated to dustbins. Nearly every county in Texas was declared a disaster area. A by-product of the dire conditions was rampant wildfires, stoked by windstorms. In 1953, John T. Floore organized a Helotes Fire Corps that assisted the Bexar County Fire Department. Floore, president of the Corps in 1956, encouraged the newly formed Helotes chapter of the Lions Club to take over the project of acquiring fire equipment and a building for the Helotes precinct. The dry conditions of the period contributed to the efficacy of the project, as noted in a July 1956 Lions newsletter: “Commissioners, hear our pleas, with this continued drought, who knows but when his home and loved ones might be taken away any night by one of these disastrous fires.” Chartered on September 8, 1950, the Helotes Lions Club undertook a couple of major projects in the fifties, and the formation of a volunteer fire department was one of the most important. Civic leader Clarence Galm (1907-1987), the first president of the Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department (HAVFD) board of directors, participated in the ribbon cutting for the dedication of the new fire department building, May 19, 1961. Standing to the right of Galm are Fire Chief Ed Faust (1960-61), Harvey Mayfield (fire chief, 1965), and Ralph Swift (fire chief, 1961-65). On Galm’s left, wearing a hat, is Charles Davis. (Courtesy of Historical Society of Helotes.)


At the Open House for the Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department on May 19, 1961, are volunteers, left to right, front row, Ralph Swift, Ike Parrot, Baxter Melgaard, Gus Heisler, Otto Schneider, unidentified, Joe Wallace. On the truck are Harvey Mayfield, Sherwood Nelson, Jack Nottingham. (Courtesy of City of Helotes.)

Helotes Areas Volunteer Fire Department In 1959, the Club appointed Sherwood Nelson, K. Ray Spencer, and Fred Jersig to sponsor the organization of a volunteer fire department. By August of that year, 118 people had signed on. Business sponsors donated money and the Club held dances to raise funds for the fire department. After acquiring land from Mr. & Mrs. Henry Brauchle in 1960, the Lions and other area volunteers built the fire station. The Helotes Volunteer Fire Station, at about 4,000 square feet, included a meeting room and two stalls for fire tankers. Today, this building houses maintenance equipment for the City of Helotes Public Works Department. Clarence Galm (1907-1987), first president of the Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department (HAVFD) board of directors, participated in the ribbon cutting for the dedication of the new fire department building on May 19, 1961. He and the first Fire Chief, Ed Faust (1922-1999), hosted an Open House that day. For the next 42 years, until 2003, when the volunteer fire department became an official part of the City of Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

Helotes, volunteer firefighters waged battles against brush fires, residential and business fires, all without compensation, unless profound gratitude can be counted as such.

Ladies Fire Brigade One day in 1977, when she was driving home from the grocery store, Maggie Grabhorn saw a fire truck barrel out of the fire department with only one man in it. She followed the truck to a brush fire off F.M. 1560 and offered her assistance. The volunteer fireman— Rev. Bill Henderson—gratefully accepted. “I jumped on the back of the truck and did what he said, and we put out the fire,” she said. The Methodist minister told Grabhorn that during the day most of the volunteer firefighters worked in San Antonio, making it difficult to cover fires in Helotes. She learned there was a Ladies Auxiliary that had formed in 1968 to assist the fire department, primarily to raise funds for the HAVFD. But, according to Henderson, help at actual fires was sorely needed. Grabhorn joined the Auxiliary, forming a Ladies Fire Brigade, and brought new people on board. Some other members of the Ladies Fire Brigade were Pat Armstrong, Iris Chauffe, Kay Fitzhugh, Joi Harris, Fran Heathington, Betty Klein, Diana Manschot, Judy Reichardt, Liz Schoggen, Jole Schuh, Dorothy Shade, Vi Tuma, Billie Villemain, and Helen Weidner. Grabhorn and Harris went to EMS school, the first women firefighters to do so. “We were on call 24/7,” said Grabhorn, “Once, on Thanksgiving Day, I had just sat down to eat with my family when I got a call on the radio about a fire. I got up and left. That was not an uncommon occurrence.”

Guests at the Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department Open House on May 19, 1961, are left to right, Mammie Mayfield, son Paul Mayfield, Harvey Mayfield, Mrs. Leroy (Ann) Galm, Bill Saner, Elsie (Biering) Saner, Walter “Brownie” Schwarz, William Toepperwein, unidentified, Otto Schneider, Mrs. Clarence (Lillian) Galm. (Courtesy of City of Helotes.) Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

Every few years, a new crop of civic-minded individuals volunteered to work for the Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department. This 1981 photograph includes, left to right, front row, Leonard Hill with the mascot Dalmatian, Pat Armstrong, Maggie Grabhorn; back row, Ron Binks, Emory Rebresh, Wayne Chauffe, Richard De Hart, Judy Reichardt, Joi Harris, Doug Godfrey, John Widner, Fire Chief Tom Schoolcraft (1980-1986), John Blalock. (Courtesy of City of Helotes.)

Incredibly, the Helotes volunteer firefighters were responsible for 100 square miles of territory. “Everybody helped out,” said Grabhorn. “Most of us women had children at Helotes Elementary, and certain mothers had permission to get our kids after school and take them to the Fire Department. Even the bus driver knew our kids and had permission to drop them off at the Fire Department when we were fighting a fire.” By 1980, the Ladies Auxiliary and Fire Brigade became known simply as the Auxiliary because men began to join the organization. Grabhorn, who passed away this past summer, ended her service in 1993. The Auxiliary dissolved when the Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department became an official department of the City of Helotes in January 2003.

Former Helotes Area Volunteer Fire Department Chiefs and Board Presidents honored at a public reception at the fire station in 1987 are, left to right, Norris Henley (president, 1986-92), Collin Furr (president, 1972-78), Charles Davis (president, 1966-68), Joe Wallace (fire chief, 1966), Clarence Galm (president, 1961-66, 68-72), Wayne Chauffe (fire chief, 1970-75, 78-79), John Widner (fire chief, 1967), Ron Binks (fire chief, 1986-90). (Courtesy of City of Helotes.)


City of Helotes Fire Department Today, the Helotes Fire Department (HFD) is comprised of 15 full-time firefighters who work on three rotating shifts (five firefighters per shift). Of the 15 shift firefighters, 12 are paramedics with two currently in paramedic school. The HFD also has 10 part-time firefighters who fill in when help is needed. The HFD today is housed in a 16,233 square-foot building completed in 2010 and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained personnel. The fire station has 10 bays for fire department vehicles: one primary fire engine, one reserve fire engine, and one wildland engine that has an ISO compressed air foam system (CAFS) pumper. There are two ambulances, two small brush trucks, the Chief’s command pickup, and the Fire Marshal’s SUV. Fire Chief Richard “Scott” Moreland took over on January 31, 2018, with the retirement of Walton Daughtery, who served as Helotes Fire Chief from 2003 until 2017. Helotes is fortunate, not only for today’s firefighters, but also for all those who came before.

The Ladies Fire Brigade in action, circa 1970s. The woman firefighter in the center of the picture is Maggie Grabhorn. (Courtesy of City of Helotes.)


Helotes Area Fire Department Fire Chiefs Ed Faust, 1960 – 1961 Ralph Swift, 1961 – 1965 Harvey Mayfield, 1965 Joe Wallace, 1966 John Widner, 1967 Otto Schneider, 1968 Jack Ramsey, 1968 – 1969 Rudy Zepeda, 1970 Wayne Chauffe, 1970 – 1975 Allan Thompson, 1976 – 1977 Wayne Chauffe, 1978 – 1979 Tom Schoolcraft, 1980 – 1986 Ron Binks, 1986 – 1990 Jim Burgin, 1990 – 1992 Ray Lutz, 1992 – 1996 John Blalock, 1996 – 1999 Jack Quipp, 1999 – 2003

Presidents, Board of Directors

Clarence Galm, 1961 – 1966 Charley Davis, 1966 – 1968 Clarence Galm, 1968 – 1972 Collin Furr, 1972 – 1978 Milton Shields, 1978 – 1980 Leonard Hill, 1980 – 1984 James Armstrong, 1984 – 1986 Norris Henley, 1986 – 1992 Tom Owen, 1992 – 1994 Ruben Camarillo, 1994 – 1996 Bill Putty, 1996 – 1998 Jeff Kiel, 1998 – 1999 Ken Dempsey, 1999 – 2002 The HAVFD became a municipal department January 2003, and is now the City of Helotes Fire Department. Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


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Please email: madeleine@travelingblender.com Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


Raising the Bar on Sweets By Drew Henry


ith the start of a new year, it’s once again time for resolutions. We are all starting new diets, committing to going to the gym more often, and trying to resist temptation when it comes to post-holiday sweets and treats! Luckily, there is a Helotes bakery that is reimagining the world of baked goods and doing the impossible: making desserts without sugar! How is that for having your cake and eating it too? Audrey and Juan Ayala opened Barbell Sweets in 2018. The vision for a different kind of bakery started when personal trainer, Audrey, and her husband would grab a post-workout snack with their son after their family gym sessions. Their son would always grab his go-to favorite, a chocolate muffin. One day, Audrey looked at the nutrition label and was shocked to see it had over 50 grams of sugar, which is more than double your daily recommended value in just one snack. She knew that there had to be a better option, so she began developing her own sugar- free


chocolate muffin recipe. Soon, she began getting requests from their gym buddies which led to baking more muffins, developing more healthy recipes, launching a website for orders, and eventually opening a bakery next to the gym. The next time you hit the gym, you won’t have to feel bad about rewarding yourself with a treat next door! Audrey and Juan live in Helotes and are involved in the local fitness community. When they planned to share their healthy family dessert recipes, they knew they wanted their bakery to be close to their favorite gym and accessible to the community in which they live. It is now their goal to provide healthy options to the fitness community, health-conscious neighbors, and the community at large that meet dietary restrictions and fit into a healthy and active lifestyle. All the baked goods at Barbell Sweets meet the requirements of a healthy and balanced macro diet, which focuses on healthy proteins, fats, and carbs

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

that provide the body with most of its energy. Also, all the treats are made without sugar, flour, butter, inflammatory oils, or preservatives. So, they fit into diabetic, gluten-free, and keto diets in addition to macro. Plus, the treats are also great on their own and baked fresh daily. Popular items include their famous chocolate almond cupcake that started it all, as well as, carrot cake, cake rolls, and their caramel apple, turtle, strawberry, and peanut butter cheesecakes. The brownies are also mouthwatering! The best part is that these baked goods taste great, and they may have you considering never going back to sugar-loaded snacks again. So, what is the secret to healthy cookies, cakes, and brownies that have no sugar and taste amazing? A lot of research and trial and error! Audrey has loved baking for many years, and she was determined to be able to create tasty treats that were also healthy for her family and her community. She started with some of her favorite classic recipes and then she tested out substituting the unhealthy things, like sugar, butter, and wheat flour, with things like natural sugar alternatives and almond flour. She said it was all about finding the best alternative that was both healthy and had great flavor. Just like a healthy lifestyle, the recipes are all about balance. Barbell Sweets is located off Bandera Road at 12682 Old F.M. 1560 North #206, near City Hall. (It is next to a gym, so there is no excuse to skip leg day!) They are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During your visit, you can choose from freshly baked treats and stay for a cup of coffee, or you can pre-order and pick up to go. Grab treats for your next party and surprise your guests when you tell them that they can have a cookie and stick to their new year’s resolution! You can place orders and learn more on their website at barbellsweets.com. Enjoy living healthy without sacrificing your sweet tooth in 2020! It’s bound to be a great year filled with gym buddies sharing fitness tips over a slice of cake. Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


Fashion Boutiques in the Heart of Old Town

By Beth Graham


nline shopping is convenient, but it can get lonely with just you and the keyboard. Sometimes chain stores all start looking the same, and so does their merchandise. Boutiques are where to go when you want a friendly welcome and the promise that your purchases will be unique.

As fashion lovers themselves, boutique owners are plugged into trends and the newest looks. They are often more customer-focused and have the time to give customers individual attention — they can even help you put an outfit together! Old Town Helotes offers boutiques to keep even the most dedicated shopaholic happily occupied.


Cheetahlish owner, Debbie James, seems to have fashion in her DNA. She’s a former regional manager for both Bebe’s and Chico’s, and a former fashion buyer for Macy’s. She says that her corporate experience taught her how to operate a business, but it also gave her a taste for individual, fun fashion and she wanted to make that opportunity available to more women. Cheetahlish has been open for five years. Why Cheetahlish? Debbie was lucky enough to travel to Africa, where she fell in love with the people, the culture, and the wildlife, especially big cats. It was only natural to bring her love into her business — and create a place where she “loves to work.” She describes her merchandise as “eclectic, exotic, affordable clothes that people can wear every day.” They’re comfortable and fun and come in sizes that include both misses and curvy. Featured prominently

is a wide range of animal prints, which Debbie treats as a neutral and combines with a pop of color to create eye-catching ensembles. Debbie believes that accessorizing is the key to the perfect outfit and will help customers pick out just the right items to create the look they want. Besides clothing, her store carries hats, gloves, purses, scarves, and both fashion jewelry and semi-precious jewelry handmade by Debbie herself. For 2020, Debbie sees looks that will bring back the ‘70s, including a disco twist. Polka dots and neon colors will be big, but, she says, “always, always animal prints!” Cheetahlish supports the San Antonio Fashion Awards as well as AIDS and cancer charities. The store offers a 10% discount to both teachers and active-duty military with valid ID.

Cheetahlish 14837 Old Bandera Road, Building D (210) 710-9306 cheetahlish.com • facebook.com/Cheetahlish/ Open Tuesday-Saturday Sip and Shop 2nd Wednesday of the month


Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

GG’s House

Owners Bianca Gauna and her mother Velinda Gauna came into fashion merchandising from very different backgrounds: Bianca operated her own insurance agency and Velinda was a longtime civil servant. Bianca said she was looking for a more people-centered occupation when she had the opportunity to talk with a boutique owner and liked the way the job sounded. Her store has been open for three years.

Offering merchandise from Fiesta Feet is in line with Bianca’s philosophy, which is to give back to the community as much as possible. The store has presented events for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and women political candidates. They sponsor charitable runs such as those for the START Center for Cancer Care and the American Cancer Society. The store can almost always donate items for charitable raffles or silent auctions. What’s coming up for 2020? Bianca says to look for lots of florals. Leisure looks — dresses with tennis shoes, crop tops — will continue to be big. Pleated skirts will serve as versatile foundations for creating a variety of outfits.

She had visited the location where her shop is now during an event and loved it, so when it became available, she snapped it up! An additional attraction was that it was near where she had grown up, and her parents still live, practically, across the street. Her aim is to create an atmosphere reminiscent of the kind of warm, comfortable welcome you get when visiting your grandmother, the reason behind the store’s name, GG’s House. Inside, besides the warm welcome, you’ll find “eclectic variety and comfortable clothes for all ages and sizes — it’s a boutique feel without boutique prices.” Bianca says GG’s is known for its embroidered pieces and always offers a great selection for Fiesta. One of the lines that makes her most proud is Fiesta Feet, a collection of guaraches handmade in Mexico; a portion of each sale supports a foster home for abused girls in Guadalajara. GG’s House is the company’s flagship store.

GG’s House 14433 Old Bandera Road (210) 587-5475 facebook.com/ggshouseboutique/ Open Wednesday-Saturday

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


Three Sisters Home

From law enforcement to fashion: owner Belinda Vela-Reyna served for years as a federal probation officer. After the birth of her youngest daughter she took a few years off to stay home, but when her daughter was old enough for school, she wanted to get back to work. Her first job was in retail and she had always wanted to start her own business, so the idea of a boutique sparked her imagination. The store has been open for four years. Although Belinda had grown up in Corpus Christi, she lived in Helotes at the time she started thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, and she loved the Old Town Helotes atmosphere. Her three daughters — three sisters — were the inspiration for the store’s name. In line with the name, you’ll feel like you’re visiting a friend when you stop in. “Three Sisters Home is an eclectic boutique specializing in clothing, home decor, and unique finds,” says the store’s Facebook page, and it’s true. Inside you’ll find clothing, fashion accessories, throw pillows, candles, jewelry boxes, and even furniture. Looking for a plaque with a clever saying as a gift for a co-worker? Three Sisters Home offers everything from comic to inspirational. Fashion jewelry? It’s there. Lampshades with Frida Kahlo’s image? Also, there. Belinda will also promise that you won’t see your finds in a hundred other places. She selects carefully, and when something has been sold, it’s gone.


Because of her background, Belinda supports lawenforcement organizations. She has participated in the Bexar County Justice Center Style Show, which supports victims of domestic violence. She also donates to Harper’s Embrace, which provides free CPR training in and around San Antonio, and dresses contestants in the Miss Helotes scholarship pageant. For 2020, Belinda also sees a blast from the past, specifically the ‘70s. She predicts big patterns, bright prints, and bold florals — even the wide lapels of the decade. Look for an updated approach to the hippie vibe, with lots of crochet, leather, and denim. “Although denim will always be a basic,” she adds. Whether looking for an outfit for a special event or something to brighten your workday wardrobe, you can’t go wrong in Old Town Helotes.

Three Sisters Home 14391-2 Old Bandera Road (210) 257-6828 facebook.com/shopthreesisters/ Open Wednesday-Saturday Ladies Night Out 2nd Wednesday of the month

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


CYNTHIA LEAL MASSEY Learn about the history of our unique town in two thoroughly researched and fascinating accounts of a town populated by hardworking pioneers, renegade Indians, elusive bandits, stalwart lawmen, and impassioned citizens. Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award Winner for Western Nonfiction San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award Winner AUTOGRAPHED COPIES AVAILABLE AT: Simply Yours Gifts & More 14357 Riggs Road Picoso’s Peanut Company 18620 Bandera Rd.

Also available from your favorite online booksellers. Visit www.cynthialealmassey.com for more information about the author and the books. Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020
















































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ADVERTISERS AHNEW Physical Therapy AL Plumbing Auntie Anne’s Boerne Kitchens and Baths


Cynthia Leal Massey Frost Bank


14889 Old Bandera Rd.

Grey Forest Utilities Helotes Economic Development Corporation

Advertisers Located Off Map

Helotes Gentle Family Dentistry Helotes Overhead Garage Doors



For a complete list of businesses in Helotes, visit shophelotes.com.


Janus Custom Homes Kathleen Cassidy Goodman Kinard Family Dental Maid Affordable Pope’s Cleaners Prestige Emergency Room


Re/Max Real Estate - Stevie Seitz




Wild Birds Unlimited


Kathleen Cassidy Goodman


Events Recurring Events Mon. – Fri. | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Casa Helotes Senior Citizens Center Congregate Meals & Activities 12070 Leslie Rd. | casahelotes.org Every Monday | 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Helotes Area Community Band Rehearsal | 14889 Old Bandera Rd. helotesareacommunityband.com Every Friday | 7 p.m. Helotes Lions Club Bingo | 14690 Bandera Rd. lionsclub.org 1st Monday | 7 p.m. Helotes Festival Association General Meeting | 14690 Bandera Rd. cornyval.org 3rd Monday | 7 p.m. Helotes Ag Booster Club General Meeting | 12132 Leslie Rd. helotes4h.org

2nd Wednesday | 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Morning Mingle Helotes Chamber Event | Location Varies heloteschamber.com

3rd Thursday | 7 p.m. Helotes Masonic Lodge General Meeting | 11740 F.M. 1560 helotesmasonicfamily.org

2nd Wednesday | 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ladies Night Out in Old Town Helotes The Bluffs at OTH | 14391 Riggs Rd.

1st Saturday | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MarketPlace @ Old Town Helotes Arts & Crafts Fair | 14391 Riggs Rd. helotesmarketplace.com

3rd Wednesday | 7 p.m. Economic Development Corporation Regular Meeting | 12951 Bandera Rd. helotesedc.com 1st Thursday | TBA Garden Club General Meeting | Location Varies facebook.com/helotesgardenclub 2nd & 4th Thursday | 7 p.m. City Council Regular Meeting | 12951 Bandera Rd. helotes-tx.gov

2nd Saturday | 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Family Craft Night @ Congelato! Community Event | 14743 Old Bandera Rd. #6 congelatolifeissweet.com 3rd Saturday | 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cars and Coffee Community Event | 14889 Old Bandera Rd. fbchelotes.org 1st Sunday | 2 p.m. Helotes Lions Club Bingo | 14690 Bandera Rd. lionsclubs.org

1st Tuesday | 7 p.m. Planning & Zoning Commission Regular Meeting | 12951 Bandera Rd. visithelotes.com 1st Tues. (Feb., May, Sept. & Nov.) | 7 p.m. Historical Society of Helotes General Meeting | Location Varies historicalsocietyofhelotes.org 1st Tuesday | 7 p.m. Helotes Lions Club General Meeting | 14690 Bandera Rd. lionsclubs.org 1st & 3rd Tuesday (Aug. – June) | 6 p.m. Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs) Group General Meeting | 13222 Bandera Rd. hhumc.com 4th Tuesday | 7 p.m. Helotes Humane Society Board Meeting | 10672 Shaenfield Rd. hhsanimals.org 1st Wednesday | 7 p.m. Knights of Columbus General Meeting | 13715 Riggs Rd. kofcknights.org


Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

January, February, and March Events Jan. 8, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ladies Night Out in Old Town Helotes Community Event | 14391 Riggs Rd. Jan. 11, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Family Craft Night @ Congelato! Community Event | 14743 Old Bandera Rd. #6 congelatolifeissweet.com Jan. 16, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Stop the Bleed and Until Help Arrives Community Course | 12951 Bandera Rd. visithelotes.com Jan. 18, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cars and Coffee Community Event | 14889 Old Bandera Rd. fbchelotes.org Jan. 20 | City Offices Closed Martin Luther King Day Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, Times Vary Helotes CERT Course Community Course | 12951 Bandera Rd. visithelotes.com Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The MarketPlace @ OTH Arts & Crafts Fair | 14391 Riggs Rd. helotesmarketplace.com

Feb. 2, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Helotes Lions Club Bingo | 14690 Bandera Rd. lionsclubs.org

Feb. 28, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Awards Dinner & Casino Night Chamber Event | 11605 SH 151 heloteschamber.com

Feb. 4, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Historical Society of Helotes General Meeting | 15060 Antonio Dr. historicalsocietyofhelotes.org

March 1, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Helotes Lions Club Bingo | 14690 Bandera Rd. lionsclubs.org

Feb. 8, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Family Craft Night @ Congelato! Community Event | 14743 Old Bandera Rd. #6 congelatolifeissweet.com

March 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The MarketPlace @ OTH Arts & Crafts Fair | 14391 Riggs Rd. helotesmarketplace.com

Feb. 12, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ladies Night Out in Old Town Helotes Community Event | 14391 Riggs Rd.

March 11, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ladies Night Out in Old Town Helotes Community Event | 14391 Riggs Rd.

Feb. 15, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cars and Coffee Community Event | 14889 Old Bandera Rd. fbchelotes.org

March 14, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Family Craft Night @ Congelato! Community Event | 14743 Old Bandera Rd. #6 congelatolifeissweet.com

Feb. 17 | City Offices Closed President’s Day Feb. 25, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Casa Helotes Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser Community Event | 12070 Leslie Rd. casahelotes.com

March 21, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cars and Coffee Community Event | 14889 Old Bandera Rd. fbchelotes.org

Mr. Chuck Kuentz, Director, leads the Helotes Area Community Band at the 2019 Veterans Day Concert. Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020




By Dan R. Goddard


elotes has been a country community for most of its history, but that’s changing as the area becomes more urban. Providing youngsters with a chance to experience the outdoor life, the Helotes 4-H Club offers “hands-on” projects from raising rabbits to rocket science. There are also opportunities to compete with other Northside Independent School District students at the annual Walter Gerlach Livestock Show and Sale held in January. Today, 4-H serves more than 6 million youth in rural, urban, and suburban communities in every state across the nation. With more than 300 members, the Helotes 4-H is one of the largest in Texas. 4-H is not just about raising animals. 4-H outof-school programming, in-school enrichment programs, clubs, and camps also offer a wide variety of STEM opportunities — from agricultural and animal sciences to rocketry, robotics, environmental protection, and computer science. Helotes offers a variety of projects, including arts and crafts, clothing and textile, communication and expressive arts, companion animal, consumer education, dairy,


entomology, food and nutrition, gardening and horticulture, to name a few. “There are many benefits of a 4-H program,” Madelyn Schott of the Helotes Agricultural Booster Club says. “There are more than 25 projects at Helotes 4-H. Each project requires an adult volunteer. There are educational learning and handson experiences. Through 4-H, we are helping our members develop leadership skills. They are learning by doing, learning life coping skills.” The first Helotes 4-H Club formed in 1963 with 13 members. Today the Helotes 4-H has three groups, Helotes 4-H Livestock Only, Helotes 4-H Livestock Plus, and Helotes Unlimited. The Helotes AG Booster Club completed a 9,000-square-foot building in 1995 and dedicated it to the Helotes 4-H youth. The Booster Club is in the process of establishing a Youth Ranch on 50 acres purchased near Rio Medina in 2010. “Our 4-H students are involved in wholesome recreation,” Schott says. “We are strengthening families. Members practice citizenship, develop team

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

work, practice decision-making skills, learn to keep records, and have community service involvement. 4-H helps youth acquire knowledge, develop life skills, and form attitudes that will enable them to become productive leaders of society.” Many of the Helotes 4-H members will be competing in the 47th annual Walter Gerlach Greater Northwest Livestock Show and Sale set for Jan. 20-25, 2020. Organizers are hoping the auction will exceed last year’s total of more than $1 million. Ten $1,000 scholarships will be given to National FFA Organization and 4-H members. This year’s show is dedicated to Debbie DeWinne and Gary and Madelyn Schott, longtime supporters. “The Helotes 4-H does very well at the show,” Schott says. “The Helotes 4-H is the largest club in the state and has many entries of steers, lambs, goats, swine, rabbits, turkeys, and chickens. All 4-H members look forward to this opportunity to show off their hard work involved with their projects.” Over the years, Helotes 4-H members have won Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion in one of the seven species shown: steers, lambs, goats, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and rabbits. The Gerlach Show is essentially a scholarship program. 4-H members also participate in the Bexar County Junior Livestock Show, San Antonio Livestock Show, Houston Livestock Show, San Angelo Stock Show, and Austin Livestock Show. 4-Hers compete in many projects. First at county level – Bexar -then district level -- District 10, which contains 21 counties. From district competition, members compete at the state competition held in June each year at Texas A&M University in College Station. Only members in high school can compete at the state and national level. Competitive projects include archery, shooting sports, public speaking, clothing and textile, and food and nutrition. Competitions are held at different times of the year. Researchers in the late 19th-century discovered farmers did not readily adapt new agricultural developments on university campuses, but young people were open to new ideas and would share their experiences with adults, introducing new agricultural technology. The idea of practical, “hands-on” learning came from the desire to connect public school education to country life. The first 4-H program formed in Clark County, Ohio, in 1901 and was known as “The Tomato Club” or the “Corn Growing Club.” In 1914, the Smith-Lever Act created the Cooperative Extension System at the United States Department of Agriculture and nationalized 4-H. By 1924, 4-H clubs were formed, and the clover emblem was adopted. The Cooperative Extension System is a partnership of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 land-grant universities and more than 3,000 county offices across the nation. “In 1963, when the Helotes 4-H started, there were many farms and dairies around,” Schott says. “There were many undeveloped areas around Helotes. Families knew other families. As subdivisions surrounded Helotes and our population grew, the Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


closeness of families changed. The Ag Booster Club recognized these changes and wanted to continue to provide the area youth with the ability to experience the wonders and learning opportunities provided by an agricultural-related lifestyle and nature.” The Helotes 4-H Booster Club was founded in 1982 and in August 1985, the first 4-H “Fun Nite,” now an annual event, was held to raise funds for a building. Located across from Sandra Day O’Connor High School, the Helotes Ag Activity Center, 12132 Leslie Road, opened in 1995. “The Helotes 4-H clubs are blessed, because not many clubs have their own building to hold regular monthly meetings and project meetings,” Schott says. “This facility was a dream of 13 families that believed in the 4-H program and the hope of making outstanding leaders for our community and country.” A need for an outdoor area next to the center became apparent and in 2005 with dedicated fundraising along with a grant from the Kronkosky Foundation, a 3,000-square-foot covered patio was added. In 2008, the organization changed its name to the Helotes Ag Booster Club. The support of the 4-H programs continued through the years as the


Helotes 4-H multiplied to two clubs to provide more leadership opportunities for the kids. In 2014, a third club was added. “With the continued support of the community, we are working to achieve the dream of the ‘Helotes Ag Booster Youth Ranch,’” Schott says. “At the present time on the 50 acres located at 1825 CR 2615 in Rio Medina, we have a covered 50-by-100-foot pavilion and a flagpole. The dream is to have a youth camp surrounding it someday.” The vision for the land in Medina County along the Medina River is to provide a nearby place where 4-H members and others are able to participate in projects relating to livestock, crop sciences, horticulture, environment, nature conservation, water conservation, entomology, and star-gazing. The booster club plans to raise funds to provide facilities for water sports, sports fishing, livestock management, and shooting sports, along with cabins and a family-friendly gathering area for overnight and weekend retreats. To learn more about Helotes 4-H, visit their website at helotes4H.org or follow them on Facebook @ HelotesAGBooster.

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

Casa Helotes Senior Center 12th Annual

Tuesday February 25, 2020

$10.00 / person Take out available beginning at 3:00pm Dine in 5:00pm to 8:00pm Tickets available at Casa Helotes Senior Center Monday - Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm All donations benefit Casa Helotes Senior Center to continue our mission of providing a safe environment for seniors to gather for information, education, fitness, nutrition, and fellowship. 12070 Leslie Road (210) 695-8510 www.casahelotes.com www.facebook.com/casahelotes

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


A Heart for Service By Helotes Public Relations


sunny afternoon in Helotes with temperatures rising over 100 degrees, summer is in full effect, and it is hot! A local resident embarks on his normal bike ride through the City. This ride, however, will not be normal. The bicyclist collapses and first responders rush to his side.

individuals serve, and, after his first visit to a fire station as a young man, he was hooked! Furthermore, having a parent with a disability contributed to Eddie’s heart for service. The opportunity to help others is his favorite aspect of the profession that he has done for more than 25 years.

Thankfully, the quick actions of Helotes firefighters help stabilize the patient, and today, the collapsed cyclist has fully recovered from the health scare that sent him to the emergency room on that eventful day. He attributes much of his recovery to the quick aid rendered by Helotes first responders, including Eddie Haynes.

The veteran firefighter and paramedic started his career with the City of Helotes in 2007. He recalls the size of the City at that time, noting, “a two-man shift was responsible for responding to both the City and County emergencies.” For comparison, the present-day Helotes Fire Department (HFD) has three rotating shifts with

Growing up in Alabama, many of Eddie’s family members served in law enforcement or fire rescue operations. Eddie enjoyed watching these


Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

a minimum of five members each. All HFD first responders are required to be both firefighters and paramedics. “It is important to the City that the HFD team is highly qualified to handle emergencies. The dual credentials benefit everyone, especially the patients needing quick intervention,” shared Haynes. In 2018, Eddie Haynes became the first individual at the City of Helotes to hold the position solely dedicated to serving as Fire Marshal. In this role, he is responsible for enforcing City Code, reviews new development construction plans, conducts site inspections, and coordinates public education. He interacts with City staff and the Helotes building and health inspectors almost daily to ensure projects taking place in the community comply with the Fire Code. The main goal is safety. “As Fire Marshal, I work closely with other City departments to ensure that structures are safe and fire regulations have been satisfied. It’s all about safety, and I’m honored to take part in this process,” explains Haynes, “I live in this community. It’s my passion to help my fellow neighbors stay protected by enforcing safety measures outlined in the City’s Code.” The Helotes Fire Marshal and firefighters conduct ongoing outreach to educate the public about fire safety. This includes visiting senior centers and local schools. “With young children, it is important that they see a firefighter dressed in their safety gear and hear them speak through their mask. This helps children know what to expect during an actual emergency,” said Eddie. The suit and mask worn by firefighters can be intimidating, especially for a child who is already scared during an emergency. “Teaching children that we might look

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

and sound strange, but these people are coming to help, is rewarding.” Many youngsters will share the safety message they learned at school with their loved ones at home, so the education continues beyond the classroom. Outside of the Fire Department, you may find Eddie and his family camping, fishing, visiting the beach, or gardening. He has been married to his wife, a registered nurse, for 25 years. They are the proud parents of two daughters. Family is very important to Eddie. You’ll notice his face brighten when he proudly talks about his loved ones. “I cherish the time spent with my family! A career in fire service can be stressful, so spending time having fun with my family helps me recharge. It’s not only the firefighter who serves, but the family as well,” says Eddie. With long work hours and shifts away from home, the emotional support of a firefighter’s family makes a big difference. When Eddie was asked how he gets through the toughest days on the job, such as attending to a victim at a vehicle accident or witnessing someone lose all their personal possessions in a house fire, Eddie quickly responds, “your family—both your colleagues at the Department and the family members at home. Relationships help you push through the most difficult days.”


Helotes Gallery

Celebr ates First Anniversary By Dan R. Goddard


he Helotes Gallery will celebrate its first anniversary in February 2020. The Gallery is located within the Old Town Historic District among many quaint shops and restaurants. With an open-door policy for artists, the Gallery features a wide variety of media and styles including threedimensional sculpture, though you’ll find plenty of Texas Hill Country landscapes and rural scenes. Artists can sometimes be seen at work on the Gallery’s porch or inside pop-up studios.


“Our motto is ‘Fine Art Fun Art’ because we want to bring a wide diversity of art to Helotes,” artist and manager Donald Darst says. “We want to have a friendly and inviting place for both artists and art lovers.” Darst is a nationally recognized artist known for his old-masterish oil paintings of landscapes and still life compositions. “We started with a leap of faith,” Darst says. “Our landlord came to me when this building was available for lease and said, ‘Don,

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

I think it’s time for an art gallery in Helotes.’ Several years ago, Ken and I helped run art shows at the nearby Gardens at Old Town. The Shows, which benefited a local charity, were very successful. So, maybe it was time for an art gallery.” But Darst knew he needed help to operate a gallery. He had moved to the area from Kentucky and became part of the art colony in Grey Forest. He was involved in Grey Forest Open Studios and asked if anyone was interested in a partnership in the gallery. Kimberly Verity, an artist and designer, jumped at the opportunity. “Our first year in business has been exciting and challenging all at once,” Verity says. She had a vision of opening a gallery in Helotes after moving to the area from California. Verity worked on a business plan with Darst and, after mentioning it to his daughter-in-law, Susan Darst, and Kimberly’s brother, Matthew Mante, a partnership was born. “Each partner brings a unique set of tools and talent to our team,” Darst says. They signed a lease and that’s when the design and physical work began. They had to transform a brightly colored antique shop with fluorescent lighting and half walls into a 2,500-square-foot art gallery. The 19th century structure has had many incarnations, including a boarding house for cowboys, a grocery store, and even storage for John T. Floore’s Country Store.

paint and sell their work in a “wet paint” sale while competing for people’s choice awards. “The Helotes Gallery has something for everyone,” Verity says. “We proudly feature renowned and emerging artists.” Helotes Creek Winery is at the Gallery’s backdoor and they partner for many events. A salon and interior design shop are across the back alley. The Helotes Café and Bakery is to one side and an event center and pub are on the other. B-Daddy’s BBQ is just across the street near the antique store. While John T. Floore’s Country Store, of course, features top country artists. The Helotes Gallery sponsors Grey Forest Open Studios and Helotes 4-H. Next year, the Gallery plans to connect with local students who have an interest in art and start a junior art league program for summer/winter breaks. Helotes Gallery, 14391 Old Bandera Road in Old Town Helotes, is open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call (210) 370-9204 or visit helotesgallery.com.

“After two months of work, we had our finished product, keeping the charm of the old along with refinements of the new,” Darst says. “Our team of professional partners work the Gallery and sell the art so artists can spend time doing what they do best, creating wonderful designs. There’s a small sales commission on sold work and a reasonable monthly fee for display space.” Currently, the Gallery features more than 60 local artists in many different media and styles from traditional oil paintings to glass, wood, and bronze sculptures. The first year has seen exhibits by Jay Hester, Bob Lombardi, and Morgan Hampton. The Gallery also offers educational classes, receptions spotlighting local artists, and participates in Ladies Night Out on the second Wednesday of each month. The Gallery has held plein air painting sessions in Old Town and at Chula Vista Farms. The artists set up outside and Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


A Citizen’s Guide to Stormwater Best Management Practices or Service

By Helotes Public Works


he water that flows over our streets, lawns, driveways, and parking lots after a rain picks up harmful substances like chemicals, dirt and other pollutants. When it rains, stormwater flows into a storm sewer system or directly to a creek, lake, stream, river, or other body of water. Anything that enters a storm sewer is discharged, untreated, into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking water. Polluted runoff is the nation’s greatest threat to clean water. By practicing healthy household habits, homeowners can keep common pollutants like pesticides, automotive fluids, grass clippings, and pet waste off the ground and out of stormwater. Adopt these healthy household habits and help protect our waters. Remember, if you dump it, you drink it. As a resident, business, or other member of the Helotes community, it is important to know these easy things that you can do every day to protect our water.

• Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. • Do not apply fertilizers if heavy rain is predicted. • Look into alternatives for pesticides. • Select native plants and grasses that are drought-and-pest-resistant. These require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. • Sweep up yard debris, rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste. • Use a mulching mower to recycle grass clippings into the lawn. • Keep leaves and grass out of storm drains.

Home Repair & Improvement • Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials. • Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar. • Use hazardous products like paints, solvents, and cleaning products in the smallest amounts possible. Make sure to store and dispose of them according to label directions.

Lawn & Garden

• Do not overwater your lawn. Water during cool times of the day and do not let water runoff into storm drains. • Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent erosion.

• Utilize household hazardous waste disposal programs and facilities to dispose of excess paint or other hazardous waste. • Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. • Purchase and use non-toxic, biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable products whenever possible. • Direct downspouts onto lawns and away from paved surfaces to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.


Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

Septic System Use & Maintenance • Have your septic system inspected by a professional at least every three years and have the septic tank pumped as necessary (usually every three to five years). • Care for the septic system drainfield by not driving or parking vehicles on it. Avoid planting trees near septic systems to prevent damage from roots. • Flush responsibly. Flushing household cleaners and liquids, including cooking grease, can destroy the biological treatment taking place in your septic system. Other items such as diapers, paper towels, and cat litter can clog the system and potentially damage components.

Vehicle & Garage • Wash cars at a commercial car wash or on a lawn or unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain. • Check your car, boat, motorcycle, and other machinery and equipment for leaks and spills. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like Kitty Litter or sand and dispose of properly. • Recycle used motor oil and other automotive fluids at participating service stations. Do not dump these chemicals down the storm drain or dispose of them in your trash.

Get Involved • Do not litter! • Recycle! Recycle! Recycle! • Participate in community volunteer clean up days.

Pet Care • Pick up and properly dispose of pet waste dropped on public or other people’s property. • Use newspaper, bags, or “pooper scoopers” to pick up pet waste. • Dispose of the wrapped pet waste in the trash or unwrapped in a toilet. • Never discard pet waste in a storm drain.

You can make a difference! Keeping our creeks, streams, lakes and rivers clean and safe will be a tough challenge as our community grows. In Helotes, we’re up for the task, but we can’t do it without everyone’s help. The choices we make today will impact future generations. As a community, we are responsible for maintaining the quality of our waterways. Please do your part to help minimize stormwater pollution. Be the solution to stormwater pollution!

More information can be obtained at epa.gov/npdes/stormwater, tceq.state.tx.us or go to the City 35 ofHelotes: Helotes website at helotes-tx.gov. Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

Helotes Fire and EMS Receive Upgraded State of Texas Licensure


he Helotes Fire (HFD) and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Department was recently audited by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). We are happy to report that the Department’s license was successfully renewed for another two years, and the Department’s license has been upgraded to “Advanced Life Support (ALS) with Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) Capabilities.” What does this mean? Each responding ambulance will have a minimum of one paramedic and one emergency medical technician (EMT) on board. Furthermore, an ALS ambulance can provide several patient care services that a basic ambulance cannot, including:

• Intravenous (IV) treatments; • Advanced airway management; • Advanced cardiac monitoring and treatment; • Advanced medication administration; and • Many more life-saving advantages! MICU is a mobile emergency room designed and operated to stabilize patients en route to a hospital. A MICU designation requires two paramedics to be on the ambulance during its operation. In Helotes, 14 of the 17 full-time firefighters are State-certified paramedics! EMS operates the ambulance in ALS mode 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. MICU operations are achieved during approximately 90% of the operational periods. MICU is the highest treatment designation recognized by the State of Texas.

New Medic 1 Responds to its First Call 36

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020


CYNTHIA LEAL MASSEY GET YOURS TODAY! Autographed copies of Cynthia Leal Massey’s books about Helotes can be purchased at Simply Yours Gifts & More in Old Town Helotes & Picoso’s Peanut Company


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Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020



Advertiser Index Author


Medical Services


Garage Doors

Prestige Emergency Room (p.6) 210-504-4837 | PrestigeER.com

Cynthia Leal Massey (p.21) cynthialealmassey.com Wild Birds Unlimited (p.5) 210-375-3611 | mywbu.com/westsanantonio

Dental Services

Helotes Gentle Family Dentistry (p.11) 210-695-2888 | drkeepers.com Kinard Family Dental (p.5) 210-695-1200 | kinarddental.com

Economic Development Helotes EDC (p.15) 210-695-5910 | helotesedc.com

Financial Institutions Frost Bank (p.21) 210-220-6371 | frostbank.com


Auntie Anne’s (p.37) 210-595-3222 | auntieannes.com

AHNEW Physical Therapy - Ann H. Newstead (p.21) 210-833-8336 | ahnewphysicaltherapy.com

Helotes Overhead Garage Doors (p.2) 210-695-8983 | helotesoverheaddoors.com

Home Builders

Janus Custom Homes (p.40) 210-695-9770 | janushomes.com

Real Estate/Realtor

Re/Max Real Estate - Stevie Seitz (p.11) 210-382-2923 | stevieseitz1@gmail.com


Kitchen and Bath

AL Plumbing (p.21) 210-269-6346 | al.plumbing

Legal Services

Pope’s Cleaners (p.6) 210-695-4343 | popecleaners.com

Boerne Kitchens and Baths (p.7) 830-446-1506 | boernekitchensandbaths.com Kathleen Cassidy Goodman (p.39) 210-949-1000 | bexarlaw.com

Maid Affordable (p.39) 210-372-9970 | maidaffordable.com


Grey Forest Utilities (p.15) 210-695-8781 | gfugas.com

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020

Attorney Wills •Trusts • Probate

Over 20 Years of Legal Experience

210.949.1000 Law Office of Kathleen Cassidy Goodman, PLLC 12274 Bandera Rd #222 • Helotes, TX 78023 KCGLaw@att.net • www.BexarLaw.com

Helotes: Gateway to the Texas Hill Country – Winter 2020