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July / August 2006

Premier Issue

Cover Girl

Stephanie Peete 97.5 KLAK Radio Co-Host

Decorating On A Dime McKinney’s First Ladies

Paving the Path for Today’s Successful Women

Steps To A Skintastic Summer Reduce Your Stress By Understanding It PRSRT STD U.S.POSTAGE PAID McKinney, TX Permit No 146

Residential Customer McKinney, TX


editor’s note Welcome to the premier issue of McKinney Woman Magazine, McKinney’s only publication that completely celebrates women. Today’s woman continues to advance. She may have a career, she may stay at home, she may be involved in her community and she may do all of the above. She is progressive and always in search of new paths. She is a follower and sometimes the leader. Today’s woman is the familial foundation. Although she seems to have more advantages and opportunities, she is also faced with more challenges. She wears many more hats and is spread more thinly. She has more expectations – not just of herself, but from others. The glass ceiling that has oppressed her for many years has not been completely shattered, but has been broken. McKinney women are strong and notorious for “breaking the glass ceiling� as you will read about in this issue. MWM is committed to helping women continue to succeed by offering local and general information about important issues, events and organizations. Each edition will highlight a successful McKinney woman on the cover and feature her inside the magazine. MWM is the neighborhood guide for all McKinney women. In this issue, read about the first McKinney women and the foundation they have set for us today. Also read about today’s successful woman, Stephanie Peete. Learn ways to reduce your stress, how to maintain healthy skin, and how to decorate your home on a budget. Thank you for joining us in our premier issue of MWM and help us to continue celebrating women by submitting your story ideas, nominating today’s successful woman and participating in our activities such as the McKinney Woman Book Club. Contact us at 972-547-6261 or visit www.mckinneywoman.com. Sincerely,

Vanessa Ximenez 

McKinney Woman | July/August 2006

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mckinneywomancontents July/August 2006 issue 01

Cover Girl Stephanie Peete Cover Clothes offered by Prima Donna - Mechant hand-beaded ribbed knit tank - $49.95, European Yank Jeans w/gold splash and crystals - $89.95, Jewelry made of jasper, copper, and fresh-water pearls: necklace - $59.95, triple strand bracelets - $49.95 and earrings - $29.95 Cover Make-Up by Sharla Bush of Sharla’s, face - Fresh face foundation, cheeks - Tropic of Nectar Blush, eyes - Fresh Ancient Shadow Trio, lips - T. LeClerc Subtil lip liner, Velours lipstick and E’toile orange gloss Publisher/Editor: Vanessa Ximenez

editor@mckinneywoman.com

Art Director: Marlina Rahman

designs@mckinneywoman.com

FEATURES 06 The First McKinney Women

Pioneers who paved the path for today’s successful women

10 Steps to a Skin-tastic Summer

Tips for healthy summer skin

12 Decorating on a Dime

Make your home beautiful on a budget

14 Reduce Your Stress

By understanding it

16 Mammograms

Should you have one? And when?

20 Patent Potential

How to protect a good idea

22 The Love Life Foundation

Dedicated to helping women in need

Contributing Writers: Jacqueline Bodnar Missy Crump Deborah Mitchell Julie Vargo MWM Advisory Board: Dr. Carrie Alfieri Pinnacle Eye Associates

Dr. Tracey Banks

North Central Women’s Health Partners

Carrie Garner Galleria D’Art

Dr. Judith Graves Clinic Esthetica

Dr. Donna Kobrin

Chiropractic Wellness Center

Karen Link

Ebby Halliday Realtors

McKinney Woman Magazine 808 S. College St., Suite 112 McKinney, TX 75069 972.547.6261 www.mckinneywoman.com




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McKinney Woman | July/August 2006

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Dip Into the Summer with yummy recipes

ip D p im r h S eim L y g n Ta rimp 1 lb. thawed salad sh es 2 large diced tomato es lim ed 3 freshly squeez tro 1 cup chopped cilan ion on d ½ cup choppe ½ cup ketchup 2 tsp. Tabasco

with all other Mix the salad shrimp for 30 minutes. ingredients and chill rtilla chips. Serve with corn or to

Crab Dip

16 ounces of crab

meat, chopped ½ cup mayonnaise 2 teaspoons dried dill 1/3 cup chopped on ions 1/3 cup pickled relis h 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon blac k pepper

Combine crab, may onnaise, and remain ing ingredients; mix to blend well. Cover an d ch ill crab dip. Serve crab dip with assorted crac kers. Makes about 4 cups of crab dip.

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July/August 2006 | McKinney Woman




Cover Girl

Stephanie Peete

Symbolizing Today’s Successful Woman

“Both my grandmother and my aunt are survivors of breast cancer and therefore, I know first-hand the impact of this disease,” she said.

I

t’s no secret that McKinney is home to some amazing women. Whether they are women in business, women in the community or women at home, McKinney women seem to have a definition of their own – passionate people with ideas and visions that secure much of the foundation for the city’s success.

Stephanie is kind, compassionate and very committed to helping others. “My upbringing was not always easy and at times, we experienced hardships. Being raised in a singleparent home, we didn’t have all the luxuries that kids have today. But it was fine. I think everything happens for a reason and it has certainly shaped the person I am today. I enjoy helping people who are going through tough times because I feel like I can relate to them,” she said.

One of these amazing women is local radio show co-host and news director for 97.5 KLAK, Stephanie Peete. She is from Omaha, Nebraska and has been in Texas for nearly nine years. Previously a sports writer for the McKinney Courier-Gazette, Stephanie started her career with KLAK in November of 2005. In this short period of time, Stephanie has already used her voice to advocate for victims of recent tragedies. On May 12 of this year, a tornado ripped through the communities of Anna and Westminster, killing three people and injuring several more. The tornado destroyed about 30 homes leaving dozens of people homeless. Through 97.5 KLAK, Stephanie joined efforts with the Red Cross and was able to raise more than $5,000.00 for the victims. In June of this year, she was proud to be a part of the annual 5K Race for the Cure benefiting Komen of North Texas to raise money for breast cancer. She is very passionate about this organization because it has directly affected her. 

McKinney Woman | July/August 2006

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According to David Smith, KLAK General Manager and Vice President for the North Dallas Region, “Stephanie is the kind of representative we had envisioned. She has a great attitude and is very committed to helping people and does a great job. Stephanie brings invaluable experience, equity and credibility to our organization.” Sidekick and morning show host, Johnny B is very proud of Stephanie. “You know it takes a really remarkable person to get up at 3 a.m. and be upbeat for the morning audience. Stephanie is very successful at balancing her job, her two children and her new husband. Our listeners love Stephanie because she shares herself with them and they can relate to her. No matter what the situation, Stephanie is very passionate and has a good heart.” These days, Stephanie has lots of excitement in her life. “I married the love of my life, Lee. He is one of my moments of absolution where you just know it’s right. My sons, Brian and Bobby also love him and I’m lucky that we are able to succeed as a blended family,” she said.

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A pretty smile and bright eyes make it difficult to believe that Stephanie considers herself a tomboy. “I love sports. Growing up, I always hung out with the boys. I didn’t have many dates because I was “the good friend” to many of my guy friends. My favorite sport is hockey and I love the Dallas Stars. When Johnny and I first started working together, I needed to know if we were compatible so I asked him, “Do you like hockey?” When he said yes, I knew we would get along just fine!”

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214.SHARLAS 214.544.2200 Historic Downtown 103 East Virginia St. Suite 101 McKinney, TX 75069

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11


Decoratingon a Dime By Missy Crump

Interior decorating can be overwhelming, especially if you’re on a budget. While most of us don’t own the resources to have our homes professionally decorated from top to bottom, it doesn’t mean we are destined to unattractive homes. It does however mean that we must be selective when choosing items for decoration. McKinney-based Connie Eddy, president of Eddy Designs, said one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to save money on decorating is buying too many small accessories that either aren’t in scale with each other, or aren’t in scale with the home. “If you’re the type of shopper who keeps spending $15, $20 or even $25 on items you aren’t sure what to do with, stop,” said Eddy. “Save your money for larger, nicer, and fewer pieces that will last from year to year and house to house.” Additionally, if you’re a person who likes to collect things, Eddy said not to overdo it. “If you have a large collection, you don’t necessarily have to group all of the items in the same place,” noted Eddy. “You can place items in small groups of three or five throughout your home, or put away some of the pieces and periodically change them out.” Paint is another area where people tend to run into trouble when decorating. “Most people think paint should be the first thing you select for your home,” said Eddy. “In reality, though, paint should be one of the last items you select for your home. Paint should enhance, but not match the colors of your belongings. Rather than choose a sofa or art to match your paint color, you should choose a paint color that complements the items in your home.”

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Quick Tips for Decorating on a Budget

When choosing a paint color – specifically neutral tones – Eddy said to choose a shade with a yellow or green hue if you want your home to feel cozier. Before committing to the color, Eddy said to purchase a quart of sample paint and try it on several walls during the day (both sunny and cloudy says) and at night. When it comes to furniture, Eddy suggested that new homeowners resist the urge to purchase furniture before moving into their home – even if that means you have to camp out for a while. She said it’s better to live in your home first in order to determine what furniture will work best for your home and your family. When the time comes to buy furniture, Eddy said not to be temped to buy matching furniture sets in order to save money. “If you buy a set of three matching tables, or three matching soft pieces – such as a sofa, loveseat and chair – you’ll find that that your home looks like a store display and doesn’t reflect your personality.” If you’re redecorating your home and already own furniture, Eddy highly recommended you consider replacing, old, out-of-style furniture. “There is only so much you can do to the look of your home with nice accessories and art,

• • • • •

If you can sew, make your own curtains. A valance is usually all that is needed in a family room or kitchen. If you have book shelves for display, take the jackets off the hard bound books and group them by color. If you have hard bound books that don’t match your décor, or paperback books, put them out of sight. Think of picture frames as part of the architecture of the room. Invest in good quality frames and choose color photos that work with the other décor in the room. Shop at decorating stores that allow you take home items on a 24-hour approval so you don’t waste money buying things that won’t work If the colors in your home are outdated, don’t keep buying items to match. Instead, start with one room – most likely the kitchen or family room – and gradually add pieces in new colors. Move older, out-of-date pieces to less visible areas of your home.

furniture makes a big difference. If you simply don’t have the budget to replace your furniture, try updating it with new pillows or pillow covers.” While decorating a home can be a daunting task, taking it slow is the best approach. To get started, Eddy suggested you select your furniture first in order to determine the color and style you want to create. She said you should select art second, curtains third, paint fourth, and accessories last. Missy Crump is a Frisco, Texas-based freelance writer.

Affordable Organizing and Decorating Services for Your Home or Business Call Me Today! Monica Chidester

972.322.2195

jrmchi@sbcglobal.net www.mckinneywoman.com

July/August 2006 | McKinney Woman

13


Stress is a word that we hear quite often but don’t give much thought to what it actually is. Understanding stress, the impact it has on your body and how to manage it is key to feeling good and living a healthier life.

Simple Ways to Reduce Stress By Jacqueline Bodnar

Stress Defined

Effects and Management

According to the American Heart Association stress is the body’s response to change. Not everyone feels stress over the same things, nor do their bodies react in the same way. Having a little stress is normal and can be good. There are different forms of stress, such as the short lived stress you feel when watching your favorite sports team in a close game. Then there’s the type of stress that can cause problems with your body and life. According to the American Psychological Association there are several forms of stress but the most common is what’s referred to as acute stress. They report that it comes from the demands and pressures from the past and near future. This is the type of stress that can be thrilling in small doses but exhausting and damaging if experienced too long. Acute stress is something whereby most people can easily identify the causes of it in their life, usually demands, deadlines and events.

According to counselor, Eliska Counce, down time is really necessary to reduce stress . How much and what type? “Down time can be described as recreation time, relationship time, or time to just be. One hour per day, one day per week, and one week every three to four months is necessary to keep stress at a manageable level,” explains Counce. She also advises that your thinking can be your best friend or your worst enemy. “It’s important to realize that it is not the event in your life that is causing the stress, it is what you think of the situation,” she said. She also said, “If you perceive the situation as intolerable, you are much more likely to experience stress than if you see the situation as an opportunity for self-improvement.” Counce also notes that taking care of ourselves physically is very important with stress management. Making sure we get enough rest, eat properly and eliminate habits

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that are harmful to our health will automatically reduce the stress in our lives. Counce suggests that when the stress is overwhelming and we are unable to cope with the situation, we should seek professional assistance.

Ways to Reduce Stress There are many ways that you can reduce the stress in your life, some taking no more than a few minutes. Try different things until you see what will fit into your lifestyle and give you a healthy outlet. A really good way to reduce stress and feel totally rejuvenated afterward is to get a massage. “There are numerous researched and documented benefits of massage therapy. It effects every system of the body,” explains Cheryl Lewis, a registered massage therapist and owner of Integrated Therapeutic Massage in McKinney. “Findings show that massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, thus promoting relaxation, decreasing insomnia and promoting improved sleep patterns.” Lewis explains that research has also shown that massages decrease blood levels of the stress hormones norephinephrine and cortisol and helps to increase the feel good chemicals in the body called endorphins. “Massage can relieve pain, stimulate circulation of blood and lymph, improve muscle health, increased joint mobility, promote relaxation and a feeling of well being,” says Lewis. “It’s even good for pregnant women

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as long as they are having an uncomplicated pregnancy.”

Other simple ways to reduce stress include: Breathing Exercises – The Mayo Clinic recommends inhaling through your nose to a count of 10. As you inhale your abdomen should raise, not your chest. Then exhale slowly and completely to a count of 10. They recommend that you repeat this 10 times several times throughout the day, even when you aren’t feeling stressed. Journaling – Keep a diary handy and write about your feelings. Just being able to put them on paper often helps people to feel better. Exercising – The Mayo Clinic also advises that exercise is a good way to manage stress because it distracts you from stressful events and helps to release your nervous energy. Most people also find yoga and meditation to be a great relief for stress. If you need help because your schedule is overloaded ask for it or delegate some responsibilities. If you have nobody around you that can assist you then look outside the home or office. There are concierge services that can assist you in everything from finding home contractors to getting your groceries. Jacqueline Bodnar is a freelance writer living in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter and has a son on the way.

Common Signs of Stress: • Headache • Chest pain • High blood pressure • Shortness of breath • Back and neck aches • Clenched jaws • Indigestion • Stomach cramping • Fatigue • Insomnia • Weight gain or loss • Diminished sex drive

July/August 2006 | McKinney Woman

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MAMMOGRAMS

Should You Have One? And When? By Deborah Mitchell

So perhaps having your breast squeezed between two plastic plates is not at the top of your to-do list. It may not even be on your list. For many women it’s not. The National Committee on Quality Assurance found that only 74% of insured U.S. women had mammograms in 2004. But mammograms should be a priority, since the test could save your life through early detection. It can find cancer that is too small for you to notice through a selfexam—an average of 1 to 4 years before you can even feel a lump. According to the American Cancer Society, early detection at a localized stage (meaning, it hasn’t spread to other parts of the body) increases the 5-year survival

Just when you thought there was nothing more uncomfortable and humiliating than your yearly visit to the gynecologist, along come mammograms at age forty.

rate by 98%. Finding breast cancer in its early stages also means that a woman can oftentimes choose to have a lumpectomy—removal of af fected tissue only—rather than mastectomy. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in America. More than 200,000 women were diagnosed with the disease last year and approximately 40,000 died. In its early stages, most breast cancers cause no symptoms, which means mammograms are a vital tool in early detection.

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The chance of developing breast cancer increases with age: Age 20-30 years

1 out of 2,000

Age 30-40 years

1 out of 250

Age 40-50 years

1 out of 67

Age 50-60 years

1 out of 28

Ever

1 out of 8

Who should have a mammogram and when?

How should I prepare for a mammogram?

“If you don’t have a family history of cancer, you should

If you’ve had mammograms in the past, try to bring

have a baseline (your first) mammogram between the

them with you so that the radiologist can compare

age of 35 and 40,” says Dr. Brad Wysong, board-certified

the old ones to the new x-rays.

diagnostic radiologist at the Wysong Women’s Center.

“Do not wear deodorants or powders,” says Dr.

However, if your mother, sister or aunt has had breast

Wysong, “They can show up as specs on a

cancer, he says, you should start earlier—around age 30.

mammogram that might be mistaken

as calcification.”

How often should you have a mammogram?

For your comfort, try not to schedule your exam

Most doctors recommend that women forty and older

when your breasts might be tender (such as the

should have mammograms every year. If you’re at high

week before your period).

risk because of your family history, your doctor may or-

Let the doctor or technician know of any problems

der more frequent exams.

you’ve had in the past or any history of

breast cancer.

What is uncomfortable about the test?

You should wear pants or a skirt since you will be

During the procedure, breasts are compressed between

required to undress above the waist. The of fice will

two plastic plates. “Compression is the most important

provide a robe.

thing,” says Dr. Wysong. It produces a sharper image because the breast tissue is spread apart. The compres-

In 1996, Congress passed the Mammography Quality

sion aspect is uncomfortable, but it only lasts for a few

Standards Act, which mandated stringent qualifications

seconds.

for perfor ming and interpreting mammograms. All technicians now have to be certified in mammography. The

What are my risk factors?

entire procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. A radiologist

Age is the biggest risk factor in developing breast can-

specializing in women’s health will then examine the x-

cer. The older a woman is, the greater her chances of de-

rays for abnor malities.

veloping the disease (see sidebar). The Center for Disease Control reports that 75% of diagnosed cases of breast

If you find that you need additional testing, there’s no

cancer are in women 50 years of age or older.

need to panic. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 10% of women will need additional

Other risks include: history of breast cancer in one or

testing; however, only 2-4 mammograms of every 1,000

more immediate family member, long-ter m hor mone re-

lead to a diagnosis of cancer.

placement therapy, consuming more than one alcoholic beverage a day, a high-fat diet and physical inactivity

For more infor mation on mammograms or to find a test-

and a prior history of breast cancer. Of course, having

ing facility near you, call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-

one or more risk factor does not mean that you will de-

6237). Free screening and diagnostic services are also

velop cancer. A woman with no risk factors—other than

available to underserved women.

being a woman—could develop breast cancer while a woman at a much higher risk does not. www.mckinneywoman.com

July/August 2006 | McKinney Woman

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For anyone that has ever tried to sleep a night next to someone that snores, they know just how difficult a task it can be. Those that snore are often unaware that they are wreaking havoc on those around them. They often don’t even know that they snore unless someone else convinces them of the problem.

Is Your Partner’s Snoring Keeping You Awake? Find Out How to Get Relief By Jacqueline Bodnar

It’s estimated that 45 percent of the adult population snores at some occasion and 25 percent snore on a regular basis. Snoring can be signs of a dangerous situation and can lead to serious long term health problems. The good news is that there are ways to address the condition. It’s important to first learn what’s causing it to see if it could be serious and then explore the various methods of relief. Getting a good night’s rest is essential to living a healthy life. Sleeping in a room with a person that snores can keep you from getting good sleep and leads many couples’ to sleep in separate rooms, which can put a damper on the sex life.

Snoring Causes “As air flows through your nose, mouth and throat, obstruction in any of these areas could cause snoring and sleep apnea,” explains Dr. Mansoor Madani, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon that conducts snoring research and corrective 18

McKinney Woman | July/August 2006

surgeries. He explains that if any of the throat structures are too large or the muscles relax too much while sleeping the vibration of the structures as the air passes through will cause the snoring sound. Although most of the time the actual cause for snoring is not known, there are some contributing factors that can lead to the condition. Drinking a lot of alcohol prior to bedtime, nasal congestion and sleep apnea can all contribute to snoring.

When it’s Serious “Snoring may be a sign of a potentially dangerous condition known as sleep apnea,” says Dr. Madani. Oxygen is not getting to the lungs when the airway is obstructed, which can cause the person to stop breathing when they are sleeping. Sleep apnea is a serious situation that can lead to death if left untreated. It is a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes that people experience during their sleep. The most popular treatment for moderate to severe sleep www.mckinneywoman.com


apnea is what’s called a CPAP machine (nasal continuous positive airway pressure). The machine is comprised of a facemask or set of nasal plugs that deliver air through the nose. To determine if the snoring is a symptom of a serious condition it’s important to have a screening with a doctor so that the can make an evaluation. In some people it may be recommended that they participate in a study at a sleep center where they test sleep cycles. Most people that have sleep apnea do not realize that they suffer from these periods of not breathing throughout the night. Usually it is witnessed by a family member.

Treatments There are a variety of treatments available to try to curb mild to severe snoring. If one option doesn’t work for you then try another one. If nothing works to help reduce the snoring then you should consult a physician. • If the snoring is a result of drinking alcohol prior to going to bed then reduce the amount of alcohol you consume and stop drinking several hours prior to going to bed. • Lose weight if your snoring is caused by having excessive weight. • Make sure that you sleep on your side and try to always avoid sleeping on your back.

• There are over the counter snore relief products that are available at most stores. These products include nasal strips that lift and open nasal passages to allow more air to enter and sprays that lubricate the throat tissues. These products are an inexpensive way to try to address mild snoring. • There are some dental appliances that can be used to address snoring problems. They keep your jaw in a forward position when you are sleeping so that there is no obstruction. You may want to talk to your dentist about them to see if they would be right for you. • Since 1992 Dr. Madani’s office has been performing a surgical procedure called LA-UPPP (Laser Assisted Uvulopalotopharyngoplasty). The goal of the procedure is to reduce the intensity of snoring. This procedure generally results in about a 75 percent reduction in snoring. If you are somebody who snores take the time to look into why you could be doing it and try to find some relief. “To the person who has to listen to the snorer all night – you are not getting the amount of sleep you need – which will indeed effect your health as well,” says Dr. Madani. “Encourage your bed partner to seek help, for both your sakes.” Jacqueline Bodnar is a work at home mom and the editor of WAHM-Magazine.com.

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19


Patent Potential

How to Protect a Good Idea By Deborah Mitchell

Pssst….You know that great idea you have? The one you won’t tell your best friend about because you’re afraid she might adopt it as her own? There is an inexpensive way to protect your idea and explore its viability without mortgaging your house. As busy, multi-tasking women with children and careers or both, we are in a unique position to be the mothers of invention. Women see needs where others often don’t or can’t. Take, for example, the “Strap Tamer.” How many times have you tucked your bra strap back into place? A Florida woman, tired of seeing exposed straps at shopping malls and theme parks, designed a clip to keep rebellious lingerie ligaments undercover where they belong. She now has a patent pending on her product and is selling her invention in specialty stores and on her website. According to the USPTO, last year, more than 400,000 patents were filed in the U.S. and approximately 165,000 of those applications were granted. So what about your great idea? Are you ready to investigate its potential? If so, here are some steps that will help explore and protect your idea on the proverbial shoestring budget. 1. Learn what is truly patentable. Before you spend money and time on application and legal fees, be sure your invention meets the government’s novelty and non-obviousness requirements for patent protection. This information can be found on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website at www.uspto.gov. There you can find important facts about the entire process. 2. Once you’ve confirmed that your invention meets the necessary conditions, do a free search of the USPTO database to see if anyone else has had the same good idea. This is more likely than you think. A quick search of the terms “children” and “games” came 20

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up with over 1,600 patents since 1975. You can also access IBM’s comprehensive worldwide database at www. delphion.com. A preliminary search will save you a lot of time and expense if the invention is already patented. Of course, you could pay an attorney to do this, but think of the vacation you could have instead. 3. If you’ve discovered that you may truly have an honest-to-goodness patentable invention, you may want to file a PPA, a Provisional Patent Application. This “holds your place” for 12 months while you develop your idea and test the marketing waters. A full blown-patent is expensive, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. But a PPA is a sort of “mini” patent that gives you the “patent pending” protection while you develop your product--and it’s much simpler to file.

During the 12-month provisional period, you can build a prototype and address some important questions. Does your invention fulfill an unsatisfied need in for consumers? Can it be marketed and, if so, to whom? Can your invention be manufactured at a reasonable cost? Once you discover where your invention fits into the consumer macrocosm, look at similar products on market. Where are they sold? How is the product marketed? Another advantage to filing a PPA first: It gives you a chance to work out any quirks. If you discover that your original idea needs modifications, you can roll the changes into the official patent at the end of the 12 months without having the fees of filing a new patent. The easy-to-use PPA forms can be downloaded from the USTPO website or by calling 800-786-9199. Cost: around one-hundred dollars and some of your time. 4. Once the Provisional Patent Application has been submitted and your idea has been substantiated as viable, it is time to formally submit the patent. Most inventors will want to hire a registered patent attorney to move the patent from the provisional stage to a utility patent. Note that the term “Patent Pending” can be used from the Provisional stage until patent is issued (usually a multiple year time period). While hiring an attorney is expensive, some patent attorneys will offset their

costs in exchange for a percentage of future patent royalties. The biggest step towards being the mother of your inventions is to trample any fears of failure and to take the invention process in small steps. Enlist the help of friends and family for advice and input. (You may need them to help run your company one day.) If your idea can be turned into a feasible product and you’ve discovered a market for it, then it’s time to lay down the cash for a patent attorney and related fees. But if you find that your idea is not as bright as you initially thought, you’re not out much money. At least you’ll never say, “what if.” Besides, one failure may be the springboard to many brilliant ideas. For useful guides on taking your idea from concept to complete, refer to The Complete Manual on How to Make Money from Your Inventions and Patents by Steve S. Barbarich or Patent It Yourself by David Pressman.

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The

Love Life

Foundation Helping Children Love Life

Conceived by women for women and children, The Love Life Foundation is just that—in simple terms—a foundation dedicated to helping others love life. Since its inception in 1992, the Foundation has raised and contributed almost one million dollars to worth projects throughout the Dallas area and beyond. Founder Maylee Thomas-Fuller cites, “Our mission will continue until all of humanity is without abuse, lacks sickness and suffering, and children are no longer at risk.” Thomas-Fuller made a personal pledge—expose abuse without stigma and share with others her own victorious story of survival. Thomas-Fuller, along with her mother Rosemary Thomas, Carrie Garner and Gwen Guess have organized many functions from crawfish festivals to the annual “Swing Fore Life” golf tournament, and their most publicized event,

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McKinney Woman | July/August 2006

Children’s Cheer Charity, each involving the community on all levels. Thomas-Fuller, a singer/songwriter, has been able to capitalize on her notoriety by involving her band at various festivals to raise even more awareness and funds. “I have learned through experience that there are so many wounded souls out there and they find solace knowing they are not alone,” Fuller-Thomas says. Their most recent undertaking is the Agape House, a home for women and children seeking self-reliance. Open in May, this four-bedroom home in McKinney, Texas is the stepping stone for these women to gain the necessary skills to not just survive, but thrive. In exchange for shelter and security

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for up to eighteen months, the residents continue their education, studying money management and parenting, and contributing to the House. The Love Life Foundation has contributed furniture, food, clothing and even landscaping, as well as sustaining the rental payments, thanks to their tireless, generous volunteers. Always searching for ways to touch the community, the Foundation felt that The Agape House was the perfect hands-on project—critically needed by the women and children of McKinney, yet manageable enough to make an enormous impact in the lives of others. The majority of the work has been accomplished through volunteer efforts, proving that many are willing to give, simply needing to find an appropriate avenue. Thomas-Fuller continues, “There is nothing more fulfilling in life than knowing that you can use the gift of service to change the hearts of those around you.” Other beneficiaries of The Love Life Foundation include the Genesis Women’s Shelter, Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center and the new Children’s Medical Center Legacy in Plano. For more information on The Love Life Foundation, visit www.lovelifefoundation.com.

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McKinney Woman Magazine Jul/Aug06