Right at HOME Video e-magazine July 2021 Issue

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Wonderful Weddings The Fellowship of San Antonio Welcomes Community to Event Space

By Amy Morgan

T

oo many events were cancelled or put on hold this past year — graduations, recitals, luncheons, and, perhaps most disappointingly, weddings. These momentous celebrations keep us attached, engaged and emotionally healthy. Oh how we’ve missed them! But now, we’re ready to gather and affirm these life milestones with loved ones. As you consider where to hold your event, look no further than your own neighborhood. The Fellowship of San Antonio, at the top of the hill at 23755 Canyon Golf Road, is open and welcomes you to select its indoor or outdoor space for your next wedding or festive occasion. "Marriage is God's idea, seen in how He brought Adam and Eve together in the Garden of Eden. Here at The Fellowship, we invite you to consider hosting your wedding day on our beautiful Hill Country themed church campus,” said Lead Pastor Royce Smith. “With 37 acres of trees, flower gardens, scenic views, and an outdoor waterfall, you're sure to find the ideal setting. Or, you may consider using our sanctuary, with floor to ceiling windows and views of the trees on the hills. Your wedding here will be one filled with beauty, awe, and reverence. We would be honored to host your special day!” Tonya Baum serves as The Fellowship’s event coordinator. She’ll help ensure all the details of an event on the property run smoothly. Tonya brings decades of experience planning events for the City of San Antonio to her position. She can work with your wedding planner, or you can rely on her

professional planning expertise, if you choose. The Fellowship cultivates relationships with caterers, florists and musicians very familiar with the facility who can be easily tapped as resources. “I’m here to make sure the bride and groom have a wonderful experience at our church and help the process be seamless,” Tonya said. “I can play as big a role as they need.” The Fellowship’s sanctuary seats 600 people in comfortable upholstered chairs. It is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, a large stage and professional lighting. While ideal for a wedding, it also provides space for graduations, recitals or speakers. The sanctuary is flanked by a long fellowship hall, anchored by a floor-toceiling, fully functional limestone fireplace. The attractive furnishings and decorative touches make it a warm, inviting space for a reception, rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon or even an intimate wedding. The fully outfitted commercial kitchen directly across the sanctuary makes catering and clean Tonya Baum serves as The Fellowship’s up easy. event coordinator. Contact Tonya to reserve your event.


If you’ve always wanted a church wedding but also longed for an outdoor venue, the Garden Plaza will make your dream come true. It’s located just outside the sanctuary doors and boasts a unique and picturesque gazebo on either end. The rubbed bronze color and Italian style of one gives off an Under the Tuscan Sun vibe, while the configuration of the other will remind you of a scene from The Sound of Music.

The Fellowship’s grounds provide a lovely venue for bridal or graduation photography. No need to crumple your dress in the car, contact Tonya if you’d like access to the fully equipped bridal room to prepare. Find more information or to book your date, go to TheFellowshipOfSA.org/weddings or email weddings@thefellowshipofsanantonio.

The view from the Garden Plaza stretches across the Hill Country landscape and up to the 100-foot Fellowship Tower. Its distinctive cross seems to bestow a benevolent blessing on a special day. Unique statues dot the paths and provide architectural elements that add interest to photographs. Deer are often seen nibbling on foliage or sipping from a fountain. There’s nothing more beautiful than a Hill Country sunset to set just the right mood. Recently, The Fellowship hosted a 300-person wedding for a couple from Houston who searched far and wide for a venue that would meet their needs. The groom’s childhood pastor officiated, and The Fellowship was able to accommodate the Photography provided by Christine Fox, Finding Grace. five-piece band and arrange for accompanying musicians. A Additional Photography by Elizabeth Homan, Artistic Images. limo delivered the bride to the top of the staircase flanking the outdoor waterfall, which allowed her to make a dramatic entrance as she descended. “They were so thankful we allowed them to come in and share our facilities,” Tonya said.

RESERVE YOUR EVENT TODAY! Call Tonya Baum (210) 402-3672 weddings@thefellowshipofsanantonio.org TheFellowshipOfSA.org/weddings 23755 Canyon Golf Rd. San Antonio, TX


PET TIP

Fireworks and Fido

By Camp Bow Wow

O

ur world is opening up as we’re coming out of pandemic isolation. Even the U.S. President endorsed Fourth of July gatherings. And now that we’ve become accustomed to our furry family members constantly by our side, we may consider bringing them along to the festivities, especially if they seem to suffer anxiety when we leave them home alone. You might think twice before including Fido in a celebration that will end in loud noise and commotion. While these celebrations are fun for humans, fireworks can frighten even a pup who’s not usually prone to nervousness. And since it may have been awhile since you and your furry family member have been around other places and people, his social skills might be a little rusty. While the rockets’ red glare evokes excitement in people; it scares dogs. A panicked pup, especially one left outside, may jump a fence or break a restraint to get away from the frightening sights and sounds. Other signs your pet is anxious: he might shake or pant, destroy belongings, go to the bathroom all around the house, or excessively lick himself. If the pop from a neighboring party affects your pup, try massage, creating a safe space in a kennel, playing soothing music, or wrapping Fido in a vest or blanket.

Not a Festive Combination

Just being around fireworks can cause physical damage to our naturally curious canine companions. An ember can severely burn face and paws, and even unused fireworks may contain potentially toxic chemicals such as arsenic, potassium nitrate and other heavy metals. Lighter fluid and matches are also poisonous to animals. Going to a night parade or event? Skip lighting your pup with glow sticks. He might chew them and/or swallow them. The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.” Too many people in an unfamiliar, noisy, crowded place can seriously scare your pup, add loud fireworks, and you have a recipe for disaster. Pets and fireworks don’t mix, and crowded events may not be as fun for your furry family members as they are for you. Make sure your pets are safely indoors with a comfortable place to retreat while you celebrate our nation’s freedom and independence.


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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Tennis Title Winner Regional Champion Returns to State Tournament

By Amy Morgan

R

onald Reagan High School senior Kyle Totorica could never have imagined the opportunities tennis would unlock when he first picked up a racket at age five. Not only will the sport pave the way for a potential scholarship to a prestigious college, tennis was one of the few activities that continued almost unhampered by Covid restrictions. The boy’s singles player starts his day with two hours of practice on campus with the Reagan tennis team. After completing zoom classes online, he heads out to join United Tennis League teammates at the Godwin Tennis Academy at San Antonio Christian School for two more hours. Sometimes he’ll drop by the courts in his neighborhood or visit the ball machine at The Club at Sonterra to put in a few more strokes. Kyle’s work ethic pays off. The reigning district and regional champion returned this spring to the UIL 6A Texas State Tournament for the second time, finishing third as a junior. He advanced to the finals as a freshman. While the stellar student applauds the effort Reagan’s Kyle and his brother, Jon, were the only two Reagan teachers put into teaching classes on Zoom and enjoyed singles players who advanced to regional play this year. the flexibility online offers, Kyle looks forward to participating in-person this upcoming school year. His favorite classes have been biology and physics. While students were able to access virtual labs, they are just not the same as when he was able to dissect a frog in person freshman year, he said. He did enjoy Ms. Bolster’s physics experiment where he and his father constructed a pendulum using household materials. They didn’t have the usual weights, he said, so they used a tennis shoe — not hard to find in a home of three tennis-playing boys. Kyle’s youngest brother, Ryan, looks forward to following his older siblings’ footsteps on the Bush tennis team, and the entire family plays together on weekends. Kyle anticipates traveling this summer to visit SMU, Northwestern and Notre Dame, schools where he hopes to combine tennis with academics. During the week, he may pass on lessons to younger players at the Godwin Academy where he’ll practice six hours daily. His family is active in the Holy Trinity parish, and Kyle treasures the personalized St. Christopher medal from his grandmother. When he takes a rare break, Kyle enjoys water skiing with buddies at his family’s vacation house on Lake LBJ. Fourth of July weekend he plans to trade a tennis racket for a pair of skis, at least for a little while.



MEDICAL MINUTE

Lifetime Learner Dental Assistant Translated Childhood Fascination into Rewarding Career By Amy Morgan

C

an you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? Ask a kindergartener that question, and you might hear answers like superhero, fireman, or teacher. Tanya Perez, lead dental assistant at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics, would have told you that she wanted to work in a dental office. Tanya was fascinated with dentistry even as a young child. She was that kid who played dentist with her dolls, she admitted. Unfortunately, her teeth were prone to cavities, so Tanya encountered her family dentist, Dr. Flores, frequently. While that experience could have triggered a negative association, his kindness and gentle care instead attracted her to the profession. She remembers his allowing her to visit the assistants and hygienists in the back of the office and explaining the instruments and procedures. “He made a huge impression in my life,” she said. “I am in dentistry because of him.”

Fascination with the technical aspects of dentistry and willingness to help others are reasons she was promoted to lead after just a year at the Stone Oak Office, located at the corner of Stone Oak Parkway and Evans Road. She joined the group in June of 2020, despite being pregnant with her now 8-month-old son. 7to7 Dental remained partially open for emergencies in the early months of Covid and fully reopened to once again provide routine care last summer. Tanya and her older three children had recently returned to San Antonio to help the grandparents who raised her in their declining years, but after they passed, Tanya was ready to get back to work. Tanya had previously worked as a dental assistant in an office in Conroe. She brings 14 years of experience helping dentists perform procedures like root canals, fillings and crowns. She particularly enjoys making temporary crowns and takes great care to craft them to ensure a comfortable fit and pleasing cosmetic appearance. Tanya even developed a polishing technique that she’s taught her co-workers, another reason she was an obvious selection for promotion. “Dentistry is an art, not just a skill,” she said. 7to7 Dental uses an intraoral scanner to create impressions for crowns digitally. Not only is this procedure more comfortable, the technology reduces turnaround time. Tanya was already accustomed to the digital scanner from her previous position, so her experience helped incorporate its use at 7to7 Dental. 7to7 Dental is a local business, grown in 13 years from the practice of one dentist and six staff, which now employs 240 San Antonio community members. Co-Owners Dr. Winburn and Justin Coke live in Stone Oak with their families and are part of the community. Visit 7to7 Dental’s website at 7to7dental.com or call 210-495-2000.


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SENIOR MOMENT

Lifeline Letters Devoted Couple Depicts Love During War By Amy Morgan

M

any find freedom in their later years to explore interests or pick up a new hobby. Janis Stone turned skills she developed as a professor writing extension publications to other endeavors. She began creating booklets of poems inspired by events in her life. Titled Bias Cuts, a nod to her past work with textiles, they’ve become eagerly anticipated Christmas gifts for friends and family. Janis joined the Iowa Poetry Association, and her work was featured in their Lyrical Iowa every year since 1995. In 2010 two of her poems were selected for San Antonio’s Voices Along the River, a harbinger of things to come. Janis and her husband, Ken, moved to San Antonio late in 2019 to be closer to their sons. James lives in Katy; Eric in San Antonio, just down the road from the Stones’ home in Independence Village, which they share with their 12-year-old Sheltie, Lacey. Perhaps Janis’ most notable work is the book she compiled of Ken’s letters written during his two tours serving as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. The book contains excerpts of the almost daily letters Captain Stone wrote about the way he lived, events he observed, military operations and his opinions, which Janis organized into a cohesive narrative. When the couple moved to Independence Village, she donated a copy to the community library in the clubhouse. My Darling Wife, letters from Vietnam 1962-63 & 1966-67 shares an important historical perspective of the conflict, along with their tender love story that has lasted more than 56 years. Janis memorialized their relationship in a 2018 poem: To my Precious Husband on Valentine’s Day Ken is my only Valentine And has been a long, long time. He’s learned to wash dishes Grant most of my wishes, And, I’m glad to say, “HE IS MINE!” Janis kept the confidential letters private for more than 30 years, finding memories of the time too painful to share, even with their sons. “Everyone who served in Vietnam had a different story to tell when they came home,” Janis said. After Ken’s second tour flying for the commander of the First Infantry Division near Saigon, the couple embraced civilian life. They both earned doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois and worked as professors at Iowa State University. Ken was an economist, and Jan spent her career conducting and reporting research about protective clothing for agriculture and pesticide safety. She also supervised the Iowa state 4-H textiles and clothing programs for youth. It was a natural fit for Janis, who grew up on her family’s farm in southern Illinois. She and Ken met when she was just 14 and remained friends for a decade before their marriage in 1965. Janis hopes to connect with a poetry group in San Antonio. She enjoys the knitting group and new friends at Independence Village. For more information about the lifestyle offered at Independence Village, call (210) 764-5260, or go to www.independencevillage.com.


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