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MARCH 15, 2019 - APRIL 19, 2019


Of Industry Excellence

Corinth - Hickory Creek - Shady Shores - Lake Dallas Meaningful, Holistic


10 Lesser Known

Ways to Get


2019 Easter







alentine’s Day came with a big surprise for Lake Cities Seniors. Sandy Densmore with Southside Bank in Flower Mound provided a marvelous event! She not only sponsored the delicious fare from Chilito’s Mexican Restaurant, she also made yummy goody bags, brought and put up decorations, and then stayed to play Chickenfoot dominoes. Everyone quickly got to know this warm and kind banker with a heart! But, there was more surprises to come for these awesome seniors! Andi Nolan’s kindergarten class made sweet Valentine cards for our seniors. Cheryl Seelhorst McClain arranged the surprise and delivered the cards from the little cuties to the seniors, along with her own special card.

photos and info courtesy of Digger Crofford facebook page

Along with the cards a soft, cuddly, pink bunny arrived for each senior, courtesy of There Has To Be More Ministries (via Michael Barnhart)! And to top it all off a surprise visit from the mayor himself, Lake Dallas’ Michael Barnhart!


| MARCH 2019


Publisher & Editor Scott & Kelly Murray


Managing Editor Jana Melton Sub-Editors Bobbi Byrne Emily Mitchell

Writers & Editor

Steve Gamel Barbara-Scott Kolb


Kelly Murray


Art Director Liz Wallace Graphic Designers Caroline Brock Alyson Modene


Your Candid Memories 469.583.2819


Lake Cities Living invites reader feedback, story suggestions and general comments. Email All submissions become the sole property of Murray Media Group. Editorial and Advertising Inquiries call 972.899.3637 or email

Address: 3513 Yucca Dr., Ste. 200 Flower Mound, TX 75028 Lake Cities Living is published monthly by Murray Media Group. Some articles and/or content may be sponsored by advertisers. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. Lake Cities Living is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and its agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission in writing from the publisher. © 2019 Murray Media Group

We Are Surrounded By




f you haven’t noticed, we’ve been sending out notifications here and there over the last month or so about our annual Best of Denton County contest. It’s funny because people keep coming up to me – including past winners who are looking forward to defending their title – and saying, “Already! It feels like we just wrapped all that up.” Well, there’s still three months to go before nominations begin on June 12, but yes, it will be here before you know it. Which reminds me – please take a few moments, especially before the craziness of BODC season, and visit some of the amazing small businesses we have here in Denton County. It doesn’t matter if you live in Flower Mound, Lantana, Argyle, or downtown Denton, we are surrounded by the best of the best. Whether it’s electricians, car repair shops, yoga studios,

lawyers, dentists, or someone else, you really can’t go wrong.

You simply need to see for yourself, especially if this will be your first

experience with Best of Denton County. We are a very tight-knit community, and it really means so much to our organization to be able to call so many of you our

friends and family. We all work so hard

every single day; we pour our heart and soul into what we do for a living, and it means so much to put a smile on a customer’s face.

There are a lot of big-top companies out there who have forgotten the point of

being a business owner. Small-business owners, especially those right here in Denton County, never forget.

Shop Local. Promote Local. Look forward

to Best of Denton County. It’s almost here!

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue!

Sincerely, Kelly Murray

Publisher of Murray Media Group


| MARCH 2019




On the Cover: The Southern Comfort Mechanical Team

FEATURED: Continuing a Tradition of Industry Excellence ASK THE EXPERTS

12 Inside Community

08 Organizing with Cloud Nine Organizing

13 Inside Education

14 Fitness with Jesse James Fit BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

20 Reinventing the Wheel with Meaningful, Holistic Wellness Care PHOTOS FROM LAKE CITIES

04 Lake Cities Senior Valentine’s Day Luncheon

18 Foodie Friday DFW with Jay Marks Real Estate 24 Painting the World Beautiful 25 Sheriff’s Corner with Sheriff Tracy Murphree 26 2019 Easter Services


08 Breaking Down Walls

30 Putting on The Glitz

09 Pet Adoption of the Month

30 Proactive Wellness That Doesn’t Break The Bank

EDITORS PICK: A Legacy of Making A Better Person

15 Oakmont Womens’ Club in Corinth

28 Classic of Denton Honors Local Military Veteran

10 Brain Injury Awareness Month


The Health

ISSUE Look for the icon above to learn more about your health and how to stay healthy.


Ask The Expert: Organizing

The First Step To



hen your belongings are in your way, either physically or mentally, those belongings

have officially become clutter. We tend to

hold on to clutter that no longer positively serves us. Why? There are multiple


We may hold onto something we don’t

love or use simply because someone gave it to us. Getting rid of something that was gifted to us can sometimes carry huge

guilt. Keep in mind that clutter is a burden,

reasons, but let’s look at a few:


so it’s OK to release the burden no matter how it came into your life: You have

absolutely no use for clutter. Let it go.

Closing the door on a cluttered room,

shoving clutter under the bed, and stuffing old junk inside boxes is an easy, quick fix


when dealing with clutter, right? No!

Objects hold memories for us: good and

see it. That hidden clutter carries a lot of

attachment, and human beings struggle

fixing the problem.

The best way to deal with clutter that

The clutter is still there. Even if we can’t

bad. These memories create an emotional

mental weight. Avoiding the clutter isn’t

with releasing emotional attachment.



ow much does it cost to knock down a wall? Alicia Christenson doesn’t have to worry about answering that question thanks to a few selfless small-business owners she affectionately calls family. Christenson, owner of Beatitudes Tea

Room in Lake Dallas, was bowled over with emotion January 26 and 27 when members of the networking group

she hosts each Thursday – armed with sledgehammers, paint brushes, and a

little know-how – rolled up their sleeves to knock down a non-load bearing wall separating two sections of her store.

“I was very blessed,” said Christenson,

who didn’t pay a single red cent for the

speedy construction project, which started right after she closed on that Saturday and was completed long before she opened photos courtesy of Steve Gamel 8 | LAKE CITIES LIVING

| MARCH 2019

her doors on Monday.

holds memories is to honor yourself, not the object. Ask yourself if this object represents who you are right now. Then, ask yourself if you love or use the object. No? Let it go. WE GET OVERWHELMED Not dealing with the clutter, having guilt associated with getting rid of the clutter, or being emotionally attached to clutter is all very overwhelming. It’s hard even to know where to start. Take a breath. Tackle a little bit at a time. Sorting and decluttering is very time-consuming so show yourself patience, forgiveness, and kindness. Remember, if you get stuck Crystal with Cloud Nine Organizing can be reached at by Crystal Nerpel Cloud Nine Organizing

She said, “The kindness they showed means a lot to me. These people are family to me.” Ironically, the decision to remove the wall wasn’t Christenson’s brainchild. The business networking group, Lake Cities Coffee & Connections, has called Beatitudes home for just more than a year and has steadily grown from a few members to roughly 40 strong. Removing the wall not only would allow the group to expand but also give Christenson more room to accommodate larger parties and social events throughout the week for her loyal customer base. Beatitudes is Lake Cities’ ONLY true tea room. And it has become a one-stop shop for breakfast or lunch, afternoon tea, private parties such as bridal showers and birthdays, and even etiquette classes for children. As for the tea room, business is booming. But all that success takes a back seat to the friendships that have been made.


ADOPTION Of the Month

MEET MOOSE! Moose is a very handsome 1-2 year old Labrador retriever who is looking for a new best friend. He is an extremely active dog who will need a big yard to run around in and play in. He is also super loving! He loves when someone comes in and just loves on him. He is up-to-date on all vaccines, HW(-), and neutered. Come see him! Pet ID:(80723) Denton Animal Services 940.349.7594 3717 N ELM St. • Denton, TX Mon.-Sat. from 10am-5pm photo and info courtesy of Denton Animal Services Facebook


Health Article

Brain Injury Awareness Month:


CONCUSSION by Steve Gamel


f you were to give most people a few minutes to think about it, they could probably tell you how old they were when they suffered their first diagnosed concussion. Granted, they may be a little fuzzy on the details for obvious reasons, but whether it happened during a game of dodgeball in PE class, while roughhousing with an overzealous sibling, or in the first half of a football game, it’s a memory that will always stand out in some way.


| MARCH 2019

And why? Well, any injury to the brain – especially if it’s your first – is scary and presents a ton of unknowns since everyone is affected by a blow to the head differently. On top of that, recovery time also varies, which means you could be dealing with the effects for a long time if you’ve had repeated blows to the noggin. Depending on the severity of the injury, concussion symptoms include:

Memory Loss

Chronic Headaches

Vision Problems, Including Sensitivity to Light

Vomiting and Nausea

We share all this with you because March just so happens to be Brain Injury Awareness Month, which

is designed to engage in public

awareness campaigns that educate the

general public about incidents of brain injuries and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families.

To that end, the folks here at Murray Media Group thought we’d remind everyone that while many of the stories we hear

the lesser known ways that may be contributing to the high number of unreported concussions. Some may sound silly but perhaps listing out a few of these will help more people consider visiting with a concussion specialist to improve their immediate and long-term health. • Slips and falls, especially in the elderly • Hitting your head on the nightstand

about concussions involve athletes from high-impact sports such as football and

• Volleyball (it’s one of the highest-rated concussion sports below football)

soccer, no one is immune from suffering

a concussion. Furthermore, while various statistics from the CDC and the Brain Injury Research Institute say that an

estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions occur in the United States each year,

• Rollercoasters • Whiplash from a car accident • Intense workouts

millions more go unreported.

• Explosions or work-related injuries

There are obvious ways to get a

• Willingly spinning or shaking your head violently

concussion, but here are a few of

Difficulty Concentrating

Depression and Anxiety

• Violent shaking

the youth level all the way to the pros in

Neurological Issues

• Previous concussions (The more concussions you have, the more susceptible you are to them)

Once you feel you have a concussion, or if you suspect you do, follow these important steps:

• Avoid performing the actions that led to the concussion in the first place • Get plenty of sleep • Drink lots of water • Avoid strenuous mental activities • Consult with a doctor before taking pain-relieving drugs

Your friends at Murray Media Group want to remind you the best way to maintain your overall health is to live a healthier

lifestyle, be aware of what your body is

trying to tell you, and always consult with your physician.


INSIDE COMMUNITY NEW CORINTH POLICE CHIEF GARNER Gerald W. (Jerry) Garner, a 49 year veteran of law enforcement, was recently selected as the new Chief for the Corinth Police Department beginning March 4, 2019. Chief Garner will lead the 36 member department and will oversee police patrol, investigations, animal control, traffic and community relations. Garner replaces Chief Debra Walthall, who retired in 2018 after thirtyfive years of service in law enforcement. “I am pleased to announce Jerry Garner as the new Chief of Police,” stated City Manager Bob Hart. “His leadership skills, experience and passion for law enforcement are just some of the many assets he brings to our community. The Corinth community and the Corinth Police Department are fortunate to have someone of his expertise to lead the future growth and development of our Police Department.” photo courtesy of @CityofCorinth Facebook page

SEE PG 23 for More Info


EGG’STRAVAGANZA  Sat., Apr 13th | 9am - 1pm

Corinth Community Park Softball Fields

Mark your calendars for the City of Corinth Annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza event. EGG HUNT TIMES: ages 1-2: 9:30am | ages 3-4: 10am | ages 5-6: 10:30am ages 7-8: 11am | ages 9-10: 11:30am ages 11-12: 12pm 12 | LAKE CITIES LIVING

| MARCH 2019

CAREER FAIRS EDUCATION CAREER FAIR Fri., Apr 5th | 11am - 2pm | UNT Coliseum 600 North Texas Blvd. • Denton, TX 76201

SUMMER CAREER FAIR Wed., Apr 10th | 11am - 2pm | TWU - Denton Campus 2nd Floor Student Union

Woodcock Hall, Suite 200 • Denton, TX 76209


CRAFT SHOW Sat., Apr 13th | 9am - 3pm | LDHS

3016 Parkridge Dr. • Corinth, TX 76210

Do you have a business that involves arts or crafts? Join the Lake Dallas High School Band at their 2019 Spring Craft Show, where you can get a booth. This would be a great way to get in touch with new clients or sell items while supporting the LDHS Band. For more information visit


6 GOLD MEDALS Guyer High School had students go to the Sate


Corinth Elementary Chick-fil-A Spirt Night

March 21st 3 to 9pm at Chick-fil-A in Corinth

LDHS Pre-UIL Choir & Band Concert March 28th 7 to 8:30pm at LDHS District ESL Night April 16th 6pm at LDMS

VASE Competition in San Marcos Texas. Six of those students won gold medals for eight of their pieces. Please congratulate these students for their accomplishments: Rachel Reed for two pieces, Tina Pham, Mira Dali for two pieces, Corinne Holloway, Kevin Kibe, and Sydney Morgan. Good job students and keep up the good work!


BOOSTER RAFFLE Sat., May 18th | 10am | Honda of Denton

Lake Dallas Falcon Band Boosters are having a raffle for a new 2019 Toyota and Honda, each worth $30,000. Each raffle ticket is $2, and all of the money raised will go to the Band Boosters. Toyota and Honda of Denton will pay tax, title and license for the car. To get raffle tickets email, or private message them on their Facebook page.



GHS Varsity Baseball vs Keller Timber Creek March 29th 7:30pm at Keller Timber Creek HS GHS Band NTCA Championships March 31st at Flower Mound

GHS Choir Region 2 UIL Concert & Sightreading April 2nd to 4th MARCH 2019 | LAKE CITIES LIVING | 13

Ask The Expert: Fitness

Getting A Summer Body



pring has sprung, the weather is warming up, and you just realized that you are nowhere close to being ready to wear a bathing suit. Luckily, you are not alone. Many people find themselves wanting to get that coveted summer body, trim some fat, and build some lean muscle all in time for those brutally hot, summer months. Unfortunately, the biggest mistake people make is waiting until the last possible moment to hit the gym or start eating healthy. As the famous saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” This is especially true for getting in peak physical shape. One of the most effective, healthiest, and fastest ways to shed fat and gain lean muscle for a summer body, is through group-oriented training sessions. In particular, group training or a FitCamp class. In a FitCamp or group training session, you don’t work out as hard or as often as you feel. Instead, you exercise as intense and frequently as your group and instructor leads you. By allowing yourself to be under the guidance of an instructor as well as surrounded by encouragement within the

long and daunting process if undertaken

on your own. However, within the confines of your fitness group, you not only get

pushed to a level beyond what you could accomplish on your own but discover that the greatest motivation to reach

your summer body goals comes from

...the greatest motivation to reach your summer body goals comes from those around you.

rest of your fitness group, you can get over the mental and physical barriers you would otherwise stop at on your own. It is here that most people start to notice drastic changes in their physical fitness as well as their appearance. 14 | LAKE CITIES LIVING

Shedding fat and building muscle is a

| MARCH 2019

those around you. Healthy

competition within a group of like-minded partners is one of the best, if not the

best, methods of developing your physical fitness level.

In the world of professional

athleticism, not only practice, but games revolve around competition; it’s what breeds excellence.

In a hurry to get that summer body you’ve

always dreamed of? Consider the benefits of a convenient, come at your own time,

FitCamp or small group training where you can work directly with our trainers to track and measure your success. At Jesse James Fit & Outlaw FitCamp, our members have collectively lost thousands of pounds during our six-week challenge. So while summer may be three months away, it is never too early to start the long road to elite physical fitness. Don’t wait until the last few weeks of Spring to finally pull the trigger! If you’re ready to commit to get in the best physical shape of your life, give us a call today at 972.355.2639 or visit us online at or for any of our locations through DFW by Jesse J. Leyva, Owner of Jesse James Fit & Outlaw Fitcamp

Pictured from left to right: Bob Hart, Corinth City Manager; Firefighter Shane Smith; Deputy Chief Chad Thiesen; Chief Michael Ross; Shari Weir President Oakmont Womens’ Club; Police Interim Chief Mike Alexander; Lt. J. Gregg; Tina Henderson Community Relations Chairwoman Oakmont Womens’ Club


n February 12, 2019, Oakmont Womens’ Club in Corinth, Texas, presented a donation and cookie baskets to the Corinth Police and Fire Departments in appreciation for all their services to the residents of Corinth. Cookie baskets were also distributed to Corinth Town Hall, Water Department and J’s Hallmark.

photo and info courtesy of Oakmont Womens’ Club



Of Industry EXCELLENCE by Steve Gamel

For more information on how Southern Comfort can help you, visit or call 972.332.0325. 174 Lake Park Rd. Lewisville, TX 75057


hat does an air conditioning company with a tradition of superior quality and service do

to be even better than it already is? That’s a question Southern Comfort Mechanical owner Steve Stewart and his team have been working to answer.

When it comes right down to it, though,

Steve said there’s no need to reinvent the wheel – just focus on the little things.

“We always look to be better because you

can’t keep doing things the same way. The world moves, so you should evolve,” he

Not only does this give customers

confidence that they will recognize the person showing up at their

front door, but it shows just how

much the company wants to build relationships with the community. Along with the bio, there’s also a link customers can click on to get details on where the

technician is in route. Many of those technicians you already know, including Robert and BJ. Steve

photo to the left by Your Candid Memories (

said. “It’s about finding new ways to build

has continued adding to

had in us.”

David and Eric over the

Centrally located in Lewisville for the past

that increased workforce has

on the trust our customers have always

11 years, Southern Comfort has always been family owned and operated and built its reputation of keeping families

his staff with Brett, Luis,

last several months, and

allowed them to handle service

calls faster and more efficiently.

Some of the system

considerations to take

advantage of this spring

are single stage, two stage, and

variable speed. There are also options for

cool in the summer and warm in the

“We want to add different communication

residential and light commercial clients

handle the calls that come in during

areas to Dallas and Denton and can

added that he still holds three training

tip Steve mentioned was to think about

insulation, WiFi thermostats, and air

technical training to more ways to

making you sick.

committed to improving upon that legacy

“The last thing we want is to keep our

a heat pump which cools in the summer

winter. They provide reliable service for

strategies and be better prepared to

from the Lewisville and Flower Mound

winter and summer,” said Steve, who

If you are battling bad allergies, another

service any need, including duct cleaning,

sessions per week on everything from

whether or not it’s your house that’s

quality and purification. Steve has been

improve customer service standards.

Over time, the air ducts in your home can

since he took over in late 2017 from

customers waiting.”

previous owners Jason and Laurie Fraser.

and heats in the winter.

build up with dirt, pet dander, pollen,

and more. Southern Comfort technicians

photo to the right courtesy of Southern Comfort Mechanical

While Steve and the crew are hard at

are professionals at safely cleaning your

usual thanks to a core of dependable

one thing that hasn’t changed is their

On top of that, they also ensure your

have noticed a few smaller changes that

the season. For example, it’s March now,

new system you may decide to purchase.

improved communication.

up soon and homeowners will be looking

improves air quality inside your home by

with everything from preventative

system to destroy pollutants before they

While it is still very much business as

work tweaking things for the better,

ducts so you can lead a healthier lifestyle.

employees, longtime customers may

ability to offer service solutions no matter

duct work can handle the load of any

are producing big results. One is with

which means the weather will be heating

They offer the REMI HALO®, which further

for a reliable company to help

working in conjunction with your new AC

When you schedule an appointment with Southern Comfort Mechanical, you can expect a text message 24 hours ahead

maintenance to system replacement.

of your appointment time. While this

Trane and Lennox, which are two of

organizations, regardless of industry, it is

their spring promotions in mid-March

on the way” text. Southern Comfort has

programs – all of which Southern Comfort

is standard practice for many service

the main system brands, will be starting

far from a simple, “Hey, your technician is

that allow for rebates or financing

taken things a step further by providing a picture of the technician who will be taking care of you along with a short

bio on their experience in the industry.

can handle for you. Their staff is trained

not only for installs but also making sure the system you choose is properly sized for your home.

reach your family, clients, or employees. It is easily mounted into AC and

heating systems air ducts, where most problems start.

“And as always, it’s a great idea to keep up with your regular maintenance programs for your air conditioner and heater

throughout the year,” Steve said. “It’s

important to keep everything up to date and running well.”


Foodie Friday DFW: Verf’s Grill & Tavern


VERF’S Grill & Tavern

ome of our Foodie Friday DFW restaurants are especially near and dear to our hearts. And Verf’s Grill &

Tavern in Flower Mound is one of those. The first time we visited Verf’s, we were

just a little-known food blog run by a real estate team – we were still trying to make our reputation and name known. But

topped with shrimp and a poblano cream; their Thick Cut Salmon Steak; and their Fish’n Chips!

And some of our other favorite “honorable mentions” on the menu are “The Bread” for an appetizer and their Chocolate Mousse Pie for dessert!

the whole team at Verf’s was incredibly

And we haven’t even mentioned their

entire experience special. And they’ve all

beers on tap, as well as a fabulous menu

excited to have us there and made our remained great friends ever since. Fast forward to last February, Chef

Florencio and his team helped host an

INCREDIBLE 50th birthday party for me.

incredible bar yet. They have over 50

of hand-crafted cocktails. If you’ve never

had an Old Fashioned from Verf’s before, you need to! It’s one of the smoothest you’ll ever have.

The food was spectacular, the staff helped

Verf’s Grill & Tavern is the perfect location

care of, and the atmosphere (even with the

some drinks at the bar and watch a game,

all of our guests feel welcome and taken

torrential rain) was so fun and enjoyable. It was definitely a birthday I’ll not soon forget thanks to them!

In addition to those particular fond memories of Verf’s, we’ve spent

anniversary dinners, client dinners,

Valentine’s dinners, work lunches, and

more with them. And each time, it’s been an out-of-this-world experience between the customer service and the food.

to eat out whether you just want to grab

sit out on their patio on a beautiful day, or enjoy a romantic evening out.

Chef Florencio promises that after you get to know them and what they do,

you’re going to keep coming back. And

he’s absolutely right! We (obviously) have

become big fans of Verf’s and are frequent visitors thanks to all of the fantastic experiences we’ve had with them.

972.317.3390 2221 Justin Rd., Suite 101 Flower Mound, TX 75028

So, let’s talk a little about the food, shall

we? When we visited this last time, Chef Florencio whipped up some of our

favorite dishes (which also happen to be some of their most popular), including: their Bone-In Pork Chop finished with

972.724.2540 |

Enchiladas stuffed with chicken and

1013 Long Prairie Rd., Ste. 102 | Flower Mound, TX 75022

a Wild Mushroom Sauce; their Verf’s


| MARCH 2019


Business Spotlight The idea is that with one phone call,

a patient can have a team of doctors


THE WHEEL With Meaningful, Holistic Wellness Care by Steve Gamel


wstin Gregg has three master’s degrees, is currently enrolled at Harvard, somehow finds time to teach masters-level students at TCU, and at 28 years old has already been the CEO of a local hospital. So why did such a smart guy with seemingly everything going for him at an incredibly young age have problems sleeping at night?

For Awstin, an Argyle resident, it all

boiled down to connecting the people of his community to the meaningful, life-

improving care they needed to truly heal. So he did what any person with three

master’s degrees would do – he resigned and set out to reinvent the wheel.

“Before I resigned from the hospital, I

didn’t have problems paying my bills, but I did have problems sleeping at

night,” Awstin said. “It robbed me of

my peace of mind knowing the gaps between levels of care existed. Seeing individuals discharged from the hospital only to return a few days later due to there not being adequate connectivity between after-care providers plagued my conscience every night. I saw large, pervasive fractures in the process and between providers. I thought, instead of having different providers, in different cities, with different specialities, why not have one dynamic treatment team that could meet all of their needs in one place?” Awstin is now the owner and therapist at Connections Wellness Group in Denton, which started with one client on August 22 and now has more than 500 who are seeking solutions in areas such as psychiatry, medication management, couples and family counseling, routine wellness and illness visits, trauma treatment, play therapy for children, and more.

working together to solve everything

from the flu or a stomach ache to more

complex issues like depression, anxiety, and marital issues – all while being

prepared to accompany a patient on his or her journey to wellness.

They have two locations, one in

downtown Denton off the square

and their newest location at 2701

Shoreline Drive in the Unicorn Lake development. A third location that

will provide additional services is on the way across the parking lot.

“We’ve been able to recruit family

therapists, professional counselors,

psychiatrists, internal medicine doctors, and more to support that mission of

ensuring we are always providing the

best care possible and keeping everyone connected to what matters most to

them,” said Awstin, who manages his

own caseload, as well. “From a cultural standpoint, I’m so lucky to have like-

minded professionals under one roof.” Not only are they expanding and bringing in more practitioners, but in February, the

practice passed a joint commission survey and received national accreditation for quality in the healthcare field.

Typically, this accreditation is so difficult

to achieve, and the standards are so high, only hospitals who have large senior

leadership teams are able to successfully pass these surveys. It tells clients

Connections Wellness has, and upholds, quality standards that slot them with an elite community on a national level.

This was the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken in my life, and the fact that

more and more people come here to get

better, I don’t think I could truly capsulate how fulfilled that makes me,” Awstin said.

940.222.2399 | | 2701 Shoreline Dr., Suite 151 | Denton, TX 76210 20 | LAKE CITIES LIVING

| MARCH 2019


A Better


Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Texas by Steve Gamel


ick Troutman could spend all day sharing heartwarming stories that get to the core of why he and wife, Babs, have spent the last 14 years not only overseeing the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Texas – but making it their life’s work. Like the day they stopped in for a treat at Sonic and were approached by one of the carhops. “Ms. Babs? Mr. Rick? Is that you? It’s me … J.R. Remember me?” the boy said. The 16-year-old was a former regular at the Lake Dallas club five years earlier and couldn’t wait to tell his mentors how much he missed coming to the club.

Lastly, there was the time a young man showed up to the club specifically to show Rick his used pickup truck. “To him, it might as well have been a Mercedes. And he was so proud to show it off to me,” Rick said with a smile. “I was so happy for him, and I was touched. I figured, ‘I guess we’ve done a pretty good job. He’s going to be OK.’” If anyone tells you they want to start a 501c3 non-profit because it’s easy, they’re lying. And Rick and Babs are prime examples. Babs took over the Lake Dallas location nearly 15 years ago, and since then they’ve added locations in Sanger, Denton, Lewisville, and Little Elm. Technically, Babs retired almost four years ago, but she has never completely stepped away. Together, the Troutmans do everything from hiring employees, seeking out donors and sponsors to keep the clubs running, raising money through various events,


There was also the time one of Rick’s employees got pulled over for speeding but got off with a warning when the officer realized she was trying to get to the club. He, too, was a former member at a San Diego club.




| MARCH 2019

keeping tabs on the clubs’ books,

buying supplies – and oh yeah, making

sure kids are being raised to be quality

human beings and feel loved every step of the way.

That last part tends to get lost in

translation among many who think the Boys & Girls Club is simply

a daycare. Other preconceived

notions are that they only take bad

kids from poverty-stricken families

who live in bad neighborhoods. “We take in some really good kids,”

Rick said. “Do we have people who live in low-income housing? Sure. But we also have kids who come from good

households. People volunteer and they

expect to see these rough kids with torn shoes, but what they get are sweet kids who say yes, ma’am and no, ma’am.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs is unlike other

non-profits in that they are a proactive organization. They keep things from

happening and ensure a child won’t go down the wrong path. Their mission is predicated on helping children reach

their full potential through everything from character development, education, health, leadership, and acceptance. It’s like a mini city, and the kids who spend time there don’t care about color, culture, or how much money you have. “If they have that mindset here, they’ll carry it with them,” Rick said. “That’s a big one for me. We are holistic in that we are trying to make a better person. That’s the impact we have on these kids.” Slowly but surely, the Troutmans are finding ways to educate those around them and garner extra support. The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Texas are coming up on their 25th anniversary later this year, and the Troutmans are gearing up for several of their mainstay events to drive more fundraising. The biggest of those is their 13th annual golf tournament on April 25 at Lantana Golf Club. For the first time ever, this event has two title sponsors (Firestone and Interstate Battery) and is already completely paid for. It’s a great spot to be in for a couple who has dedicated their lives to one mission – kids. “I’m not sure we’ll ever get to the point where the clubs are financially sound, but if we can get enough people to understand what we are trying to do and support us, we can at least take care of the basic stuff,” Rick said. “Through all the things we go through, these kids are why we do this. We just care about the kids.”


Painting The World Beautiful by Steve Gamel

Maithen is a third-generation, self-taught

artist who enjoys creating custom artwork such as abstract art, commercial art,

logos, children’s paintings, murals, geode

artwork, sports art, and more. Whether you need logo artwork for your coffee shop or a cartoon mural for your daughter’s bedroom, Maithen can paint it.

Many of those pieces are on display in the Lake Cities area, Lantana, Lewisville, and surrounding communities. Photo courtesy of Freeform Amethyst Geode Art (Chance & Stephanie Post on the right, Maithen Elizabeth on the left)


aithen Elizabeth Fluhrer is on one knee next to a cute-as-a-button 7-year-old boy as he shows off his latest snow globe drawing. The boy has never met a real artist, and he’s grinning from ear to ear as she praises him for his choice of colors.

were there to view her paintings. It’s that

“You did such a great job!” she exclaims.

Custom Art By Maithen Elizabeth.

Maithen dropped everything to make that little boy feel like the most important artist in the room on a day when most people

“If you have a chance to spread a little


| MARCH 2019

positive outlook on life, the willingness

to encourage a younger generation, and

desire to paint the world beautiful that has endeared her to residents and business

owners near and far through her company,

extra sunshine, then you should do it,” Maithen said.

“My calling in life is to make people happy with art,” Maithen said. “Sometimes, my

clients know exactly what they want. Other times, they have no idea – all they know is they want to fill a space. My goal is to adapt to each client’s situation.” If you want to learn more, visit Maithen will also

be at a three-day art festival at Music City

Mall June 14-16 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.



with Sheriff Tracy Murphree

aptain Jeff Davis is the SWAT Commander for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. The SWAT team is made up of 18 deputies who volunteer for this position, and all come from divisions within the Sheriff’s Office. SWAT team members have to apply and then pass a rigorous tryout which consists of a physical test, cognitive test, and firearms test. After the tryout, a board composed of senior SWAT personnel will meet to evaluate the applications and success of each candidate on tasks during the tryout. Recommendations are then made and sent to the Sheriff, who makes the ultimate decision. The Denton County SWAT team is responsible for mutual aid responses to smaller agencies in Denton County that require a SWAT response. The SWAT team also acts as advisors to smaller agency SWAT teams in Denton County and assist federal agencies with operations within Denton County. The Denton County SWAT team is also used for special operations – for example the recent online solicitation operation involving multiple agencies that was conducted in Denton County.


Citizen Academy

Every Mon. for 10 Weeks Starting on March 18th | 6:30 - 8:30pm Denton County Sheriff’s Office This is an awesome opportunity to experience how your Sheriff’s Office operates. The first class, will start at 6pm. Go to

Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP)

March 23rd Denton County Sheriff’s Office This is a self-defense class for females. You must register at Go to our facebook page for information on a regular basis about our WEP.




307 S. Lake Dallas Dr. • Lake Dallas, TX

801 North Texas Blvd.

Denton, TX (UNT Campus)

April 21st Easter Services 8:30am,

9:45am (Bible Study), 11am



300 W. Oak St. • Denton, TX

2300 E. University Dr. • Denton, TX April 21st Easter Services 8:30am, 10:50am



633 Hobson Ln. • Denton, TX

April 19th Good Friday Service 7pm

April 21st Easter Services 6:30am, 8:30am, 10:45am

April 21st Easter Sunday Service 7am,


| MARCH 2019

April 21st Easter Service 10:30am April 21st Easter/Regular Services 9am, 11am

8:30am, 9:45am, 11am


Classic of Denton

Local Military Veteran by Steve Gamel


t’s no secret that giving back to the community is an everyday practice for the team at Classic Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Classic Mazda of Denton. But in all the years they have selflessly served those around them, they hadn’t had the opportunity to give back to the Military veterans who risk their lives to protect our freedom. That all changed this February when General Manager Rick Wick, along with longtime owner Richard Allen, presented United States Marine Corps Sergeant Kenneth Rolon with a 2019 Ram Lonestar Crew Cab Classic.


| MARCH 2019

The presentation was part of a joint effort

Wick said Classic was

Military Warriors Support Foundation, which

and the Military Warriors

between Classic, Wells Fargo Bank, and the honored Sergeant Rolon, a Denton native,

through its Transportation4Heroes program. The Transportation4Heroes program is designed to help veterans successfully photo courtesy of Slade Meadows

transition back to civilian life by providing

access to reliable transportation as well as mentoring opportunities.

Sergeant Rolon was part of a presentation on February 9 at a UNT men’s basketball game. On February 21, Classic hosted a separate event at its dealership, where

Sergeant Rolon officially received the keys to his new truck.

chosen by Wells Fargo Support Foundation,

which chose Sergeant

Rolon but were in search

of a dealership to partner with. Wick said those

organizations reached out to UNT, which

suggested Classic as the perfect partner. This year alone, Classic of Denton

adopted 119 children that are homeless yet attend school in the Denton

Independent School District, and

provided 330 learning cards to the

Gonzalez School in Denton. Classic also

“It was a very quick deal where we only

adopted 134 children for the Friends

visited with Richard, and he said let’s go

which gives assistance to mothers and

had two weeks to pull it all together. I

of the Family Denton organization,

for it,” Rick Wick said. “Our

children who are victims

to be recognized. They

and sexual assault. The

and our country. They go

children of Giving Hope,

one way to give back and

based organization that

military veterans deserve

of domestic violence

risk their lives to protect us

organization adopted 56

through so much, so this is

Inc., which is a Denton-

show our appreciation.”

assists individuals and

Sergeant Rolon grew up in Queens, New

families who are homeless or at risk

the events of 9/11. He began his service

financial aid, assistance with housing,

had a tour in Afghanistan and as part of a

and basic necessities.

York and chose to join the Marines after

of becoming homeless by providing

in 2004 and twice went to Iraq. He also

job training, transportation, childcare,

Marine Expeditionary Unit before being

Classic of Denton’s giving campaign

honorably discharged in 2012.

didn’t stop there as it adopted 24

He is a Purple Heart recipient and

children for Lake Cities Church and

Defense Service Medal, Global War on

Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s

Action Ribbons, and four Sea Service

history of offering healing and

was also recognized with a National

21 children and six mothers through

Terrorism Service Medal, two Combat

Home, which has a proud

Deployment Ribbons, among others.

hope to vulnerable children,

Sergeant Rolon and his wife, Jodalys, met as teenagers and have been married for 12 years.

“He’s a down-to-earth individual, and

it was a pleasure meeting him and his family,” Wick said.

the homeless and is also open anytime the temperature outside is above 80 degrees or below 38 degrees. Our Daily Bread, which provides nutritious meals, special services, and referrals for other services to those in need, received a cash donation of $3,000 along with prepaid gift cards – all courtesy of Classic of Denton. Through the efforts of the Classic of Denton employees, customers, and vendors, over $40,000 was collected. The Friday before Christmas, all Classic managers contributed $2,100 as a gift to Crosstimbers Church, on behalf of owner Richard Allen. Mr. Allen then matched a check for $2,100 for a total of $4,200 to Crosstimbers Church. Last, but certainly not least, Classic donated $3,000 to the Bedtime Rescue Program, which was founded in December 2012 through Cloud 9 Charities. Adding military support to their endless good deeds was a no-brainer, Wick said. “The spirit of giving back is definitely infectious throughout our entire dealership staff,” Rick Wick said. “Our employees are determined to set the goals higher every year and challenge themselves to make the biggest impact we can for those in need right here in Denton.”

teens, and families. It also

donated sheets, gift cards,

backpacks, and hoodies to

the Monsignor King Outreach Center of Denton. The

outreach center opens on

December 24 every year for



old glitter will make the Denton Benefit League charity ball, “Putting on the Glitz”, sparkle

on Saturday, April 6, at the Dallas/Fort

Worth Marriott Hotel and Golf Club at Champions Circle.

The black-tie preferred seated dinner

and dance will be joined with the In10city Band with a mixture of up beat dance

music, country tunes, and some ballroom selections. There will also be a silent and

live auction. Cocktails are at 6:30 p.m. and

DBL has awarded over $5.6 million to Denton County non-profits. This year 36 non-profit organizations were awarded over $240,000. The ball, the underwriters, and traditional tabloid are the biggest fund raisers. The members of DBL contribute over 21,000 volunteer hours per year in the community. For more information or additional information on how to purchase tickets please visit

a seated dinner begins at 7:30 p.m.

press release by Denton Benefit League

Attendees can buy raffle tickets for a

chance to win a pair of diamond peek a



boo earrings donated by First People’s Jewelers for $25 per ticket or 5 tickets for $100.

The mission of Denton Benefit League is to raise funds for local philanthropic

purposes and to promote volunteerism in the community. This organization shall be nonpolitical, nonsectarian, and nonprofit

in all its policies and activities. Since 1973

Proactive Wellness That DOESN’T BREAK THE BANK


by Audrey Christie, MSN, RN

ave you ever thought “wow, all this healthy stuff is so expensive!” It’’s true, sometimes wellness can seem more expensive than just rolling the dice on illness. But what if you stopped and added the cost of illness? The cost of hospital visits? Medications? Doctor visits for chronic conditions? It all adds up. Not to mention lifestyle changes that don’t necessarily have a concrete dollar amount attached to them. When it comes to our health, it is either pay now, or pay later, but the bill always


| MARCH 2019

comes due. Luckily wellness doesn’t have to cost tons of money, often it only takes a little of your time, attention and care. Here are some ways you can make small sustainable and simple shifts towards wellness: 1. Move your body a little more. Usually when we think of exercise we think of spending big on joining a gym, or maybe lengthy workouts. Luckily, studies show that isn’t necessary. Simply adding movement a day provides health benefits as long as the total is around 30 minutes. This can mean just walking a little here

and there or taking the stairs a few times, or even some gentle stretching from your desk chair. 2. Eat a little better. No need for diets or restrictive cleanses, they don’t work any way. Instead I encourage you to go to your kitchen and pick 3 food items, read the ingredients and google “dangers of” that ingredient. Pick a processed ingredient to avoid each week. 3. Reduce stress. Reducing your stress levels is as important to your health as nutrition and movement. Even spending just a few minutes of your day dedicated to stress relief can make a difference a big difference. Try a one-minute meditation to reduce your stress instantly. These three sustainable shifts can make a big difference in your overall health outcomes without utilizing too much time, energy, and resources.

Profile for Murray Media Publishing

Lake Cities Living Magazine March 2019  

Lake Cities Resident's favorite source for local news, events and community notices.

Lake Cities Living Magazine March 2019  

Lake Cities Resident's favorite source for local news, events and community notices.