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BENEFITS OF XERISCAPING Central Texas is a semi-arid climate and prone to drought. It can experience torrential rains with flash flooding or no rain for weeks or months at a time. People moving here from areas of the country where rain and snow gives lawns a lush, emerald green look, soon find out that keeping a green, manicured lawn in Central Texas can be time consuming and costly. By CATHERINE HOSMAN

50 RENAISSANCE WOMAN Balancing family, career and volunteer service to U.S. Army


AT HOME IN BELL COUNTY Killeen, Temple keep growing

Mike Linnemann of Linnemann Realty in Killeen said Bell County is one of the top three growing counties in Texas. “It is an attractive place to live and is drawing investors domestically and internationally,” he said. By CATHERINE HOSMAN 4


Jean Shine strolled into a conference room at her office of The Shine Team Realtors in Harker Heights. It’s decorated with her many awards in real estate, and the too-many-to-count medallions bestowed her by the U.S. Army for her contributions. Shine exudes a positive energy. She speaks about her family, her business, her work as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Central Texas, and her foundation — Friends of the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery — that ensures no veteran’s grave is left without a wreath during Thanksgiving and Christmas. She did not plan on a career in real estate. “I just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom,” she said. “I was raised to be a stayat-home mom.” By CATHERINE HOSMAN



Bridging the opportunity gap

Jeff and Kim White are working to fulfill a mission: Provide hope and support for young people who need it. Hard work, community support and a grant from “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are helping them reach their goal. By CATHERINE HOSMAN

To advertise, call 254-778-4444 in Temple or 254-501-7500 in Killeen


Providing the energy for bluer skies.


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Homes with natural gas appliances produce about half of the carbon dioxide emissions of all-electric homes. By choosing natural gas, you’re helping to keep our skies clear today—and for years to come. It’s one more thing you can feel good about from Atmos Energy, your natural gas company.


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TexTalk NEIGHBORS Maria Mendez Reed offers military makeovers Kacie Beevers helps TABA grow


TexTalk FLAVOURS Bird Creek Burger Co.


TexTalk SPOTLIGHT Temple Area Builders Association


TexTalk SCENE Caring Ball


TexTalk CALENDAR Area events in April and May









OctOber 2013 tex AppeAl


Maria Mendez Reed of Moving with the Military TV on location at AR Workshop in Temple | 12 Photograph by JULIE NABOURS 6



“Make Haste Slowly” by Amy K. Rognlie


TexHEALTH Mother’s Day brunch






History of West Museum






From the Editor

Tex Appeal Life & Style in Central Texas

Dear Readers,

Spring is here and it’s great to see our azure blue skies and golden sunshine once again. Warmer and longer days are with us now and it’s time to start thinking about all of those projects you want to accomplish for your home and garden. While planning your new or refreshed yard or garden consider xeriscaping for its beautiful simplicity with textures, low maintenance and water conservation. Any size area can be converted into a creative landscape, Page 28. Bell County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas. People from across the United States are moving to Texas in droves and seem to be settling in the “Triangle area” that includes Temple and Killeen. Houses continue to appear on the landscape in South Killeen, West Temple, Belton and Nolanville, Page 32. Bridge East Temple is a new foundation started by Jeff and Kim White. Last year they purchased a historical bungalow in East Temple. Named The 4-1-1 House, it was the former home of Temple Civil Rights activist Myrtle L. Captain. Their purpose is to create a gathering place for local youths to receive guidance, learn life lessons, and encouragement to follow their dreams, Page 36. Maria Mendez Reed, creator of helps active-duty military families turn their temporary houses into homes for free. She is a decorator, renovator and resourceful designer. She has created a backyard space, a living room, and recently a little girl’s dream bedroom. She also offers fun and informational episodes on her website that any family can adapt for their living area, Page 12. Kacie Beevers, executive officer of the Temple Area Builders Association is busy with the numerous projects she juggles daily. She is membership coordinator, event coordinator and makes sure the office is always running smoothly, Page 14. Local Christian author Amy K. Rognlie wants you to “Make Haste Slowly,” her newly released novel. She calls her book a cozy mystery that will keep you turning the pages. Hidden between the lines are life lessons that reinforce the meaning of being a good neighbor and friend, Page 27. Jean Shine of The Shine Team in Harker Heights is more than a Realtor. She is an astute businesswoman, a dedicated mother, wife and grandmother. She is also known for her volunteer service as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Central Texas; a greeter ready to hug homecoming troops, and the founder of the Friends of the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery, or Wreaths for Vets, Page 50. Christopher McGilvery, founder and executive director of Give More HUGS is changing the lives of children around the world, one book at a time. His foundation distributes much-needed school supplies, backpacks, and life necessities to communities in five countries, all from his headquarters in Central Texas, Page 56. The History of West Museum is dedicated to the founding of West, Texas. It portrays its history with authentic artifacts dating back to the early 1800s when the first settlers arrived by covered wagon. Three centuries are on display, including a room that pays homage to the day the town exploded on April 17, 2013, Page 60. Mother’s Day is coming up so spoil your mom by making her a healthy crust-free quiche from Carey Stites, Page 54. Every month I meet the most extraordinary people in Bell Count and each person has a story that can touch another’s life. Wherever you are in your busy day, take a break and pour yourself a glass or cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy meeting your neighbors on the pages of the April/May issue of Tex Appeal Magazine.

Catherine Hosman Tex Appeal Editor



Published by FRANK MAYBORN ENTERPRISES, INC. KILLEEN DAILY HERALD 1809 Florence Rd., Killeen, TX 76540

TEMPLE DAILY TELEGRAM 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501

Publisher SUE MAYBORN Editor CATHERINE HOSMAN Photographers/Graphic Designers


Tex Appeal Magazine is published by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Inc. 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501. The cover and content of Tex Appeal Magazine is fully protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. SUBSCRIPTIONS: For the United States, $24 per year, 6 issues. Mail check to P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114.

Questions about subscriptions, call 254-778-4444.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Tex Appeal Magazine, P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114. HOW TO CONTACT US: Advertising: Call 254-778-4444 or 254-501-7500. Editorial: Contact Catherine Hosman at 254-774-5234 or email

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You can read back issues of Tex Appeal Magazine at Log on today to find the current issue and older editions of Tex Appeal. You also can connect with us on Facebook.


Email a letter to Please include your name and a phone number for verification. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Contributors MIKE BARTOSZEK was born in Las Vegas, Nev., and traveled to various Army installations, including tours in Germany; his family finally settled in Killeen. Growing up, Mike had a passion for concert production working on such shows as ZZ Top, Korn and Ted Nugent. He pursues a career in video production and photography and has since worked for various entertainment companies such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and KNCT. He enjoys a life of travel, adventure and outdoor photography.

BECKY STINEHOUR is a portrait/wedding photographer who has lived in Central Texas since the early 1980s, after having grown up on several military bases. She has two grown sons. She is active in her church and enjoys gardening.

CAREY STITES, MS, RD, LD, CPT is a registered and licensed dietitian working for Wellstone Health Partners in Harker Heights. Carey has been a practicing dietitian since 2001, with experience in both outpatient and inpatient medical nutrition therapy and sports nutrition. Carey also is an AFAA certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She has promoted health and wellness through presentations, classes, writing and cooking demonstrations all across Texas.

Life & Style in Central Texas 10


neighbors 12

flavours 18

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Military makeovers

Maria Mendez Reed, creator of Moving with the Military TV, is in her element with her favorite power tool — a nail gun.



TexTalk neighbors

Turning a temporary military house into a home



aria Mendez Reed is on a mission. The Army spouse, mother of two, filmmaker, producer, technology teacher and creator of a new internet home improvement show called Moving with the Military TV was named the 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Fort Hood Military Spouse of the Year. Her mission is simple: To celebrate military families one makeover at a time, whether they have just had a Permanent Change of Station or have been at their post for awhile. She wants families to feel welcome by introducing them to their new community and helping them transform their living space into a home. She didn’t have to look far for her inspiration. When her husband, Staff Sgt. Patrick Reed, re-enlisted in the Army after having been honorably discharged five years earlier, the family was assigned to Fort Stewart, Georgia. Their daughter, Parker, was 8 at the time. When they moved into their new home, Parker wanted a pink bedroom. But Maria felt she had to stay with the standard military white walls. “‘It’s just paint mom,’ she said to me. ‘We can paint it back.’” Reed looked for ways to help PCS parents and their kids navigate military life and turn their spaces into homes, even if it is just for a two-year assignment. “I understand the military spouse community because I am one,” she said. “When they tell me about their permanent change of station, I get it. It’s not always easy but just having an ear, someone to listen, helps.” Reed thought about her 20-year career in filmmaking and the hours of planning, coordinating and executing that went into a production. She used that background to help make the living spaces of military personnel feel more personal. She looked for solutions like removable flooring and tile, removable wallpaper, and ways to hang things that wouldn’t leave holes in the walls. “I found just about everything removable,” she said. 12


Army spouse Maria Mendez Reed gives military families free room makeovers through her home improvement show.

She started to see the potential and came up with the idea to help military families from all branches of the armed forces, using her own money, and she announced to her husband, “Let’s make a TV show.” “He thought I was nuts,” she said. “‘Don’t second mortgage the house,’ he told me.” “I wanted to give back thinking what is it about being in the military makes us so unique?” Reed said. The answer: “We move all the time — every two or three years. Some people even more than that.”

THE FIRST SHOW Reed stayed up for 72 hours building her website and planning the show. In spring 2016 she launched the first episode of Moving with the Military TV (www. with the

renovation of a family’s living room. Reed and her crew have since made over a bathroom, a bedroom and an outdoor space, filming in Texas and Georgia. Reed also blogs and presents how-to videos on organizing, decorating on a budget and making a gift basket filled with goodies for under $20. There is a lot of planning that goes into producing a television show. Reed said it costs $10,000 to $30,000 to produce one episode, depending on its length, not including the budget for furniture, supplies and decorations. Production includes photography, cinematography, sound, catering for the crew, shopping, her 3D CAD designs, photo shoots, day trips and post production (which she does herself). Her hope is that her show will be picked up by a national network that airs home

BEFORE AND AFTER: Maria Mendez Reed transformed MacKenzie’s bedroom with a French theme. MacKenzie got to channel her inner Audrey Hepburn during a fun photo shoot while waiting for her bedroom makeover. The black-and-white prints now adorn the walls of her room.

makeover shows. “So many people come forward to donate their time,” she said. Volunteers include military spouses, active-duty service members, retirees, veterans and civilians. Families selected for a free makeover keep their décor and furniture and take everything with them to their next location. “We try to make everything movable,” Reed said. In the latest episode that premiered in February, Reed made over the room of a girl whose dad is deployed. She was chosen from hundreds of emails. “I want to help everybody,” Reed said. “It’s

not just about having a sad story, but to celebrate victories, small and large. Her daddy being deployed played a lot into it.” Reed met with the girl to get an idea of what she liked. Through conversation, asking questions and observing what she had in her room, it was determined that a French theme was the way to go. Reed relies on her own resources and vendors to complete each makeover. Beginning with her first episode in 2016, she has partnered with local and national purveyors who donate or discount the materials she needs. As a military wife, inspiration came

naturally. She recalled a poem by Linda Ellis that one of her teachers described. It’s called “The Dash,” and it moved her to review her life’s contributions. “We all have a dash, the day from the year we were born to the day we die, we have a dash. What are you going to do with that dash,” she said. “I’m tired of watching the news and seeing all the bad. I want to be the good I want to see in the world. I don’t want to leave this place not having made an impact. My family, my kids watch what I am doing and help me. They are part of this journey. We do it as a family or we don’t do it.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Kacie Beevers is the executive officer for the Temple Area Builders Association.





From the ground up

Belton native helps Temple Area Builders Association grow Photos by JULIE NABOURS and contributed by KACIE BEEVERS


College in Bryan. But she wasn’t sure she wanted to pursue and took a break from school to regroup.

acie Beevers, executive officer for the Temple Area Builders Association, understands how much hard work goes into building a home. She is the second of five siblings born to parents Michael and Tammy Beevers. She grew up on a Belton ranch in a home that her father built from the ground up. In fact, her family lived in the basement while her father built the additional levels of the home, with a little help from his daughters. “I got a bedroom for Christmas one year,” she said. The house rose to three stories, five bedrooms (one for their parents, one for each daughter) and four and a half baths. When her little brother came along some years later, her mom converted an office space for the addition to their family. “It was a labor of love,” she said, about living in a home built by her dad, who is an owner/broker with DB Commercial Real Estate. “There is so much heart in that home.” Growing up on a ranch taught Beevers responsibility at a young age. She helped her dad build fences, herd cattle, and tackle other ranch chores before she and her siblings could do anything fun. They had horses, goats, dogs, cats and cows, but no cable television or video games. Her parents were strict. “We each got to pick one activity,” — Marty she said. “I played soccer from 4 years old through high school and also played club ball.” When she wanted to watch the latest Disney movie she walked to her grandmother’s house — she had cable. One year her brother asked for an X-Box as an activity. Instead their dad tasked the siblings with building their own tree house, with his help of course. Beevers, a 2007 graduate of Belton High School, took a roundabout way to earning her degrees, starting out at Blinn

STRONG WORK ETHIC When she asked her dad if she could move back home, he agreed, with the condition that she work. She took a job at a day care center in 2009 and by 2011 she earned her associates of arts in business from Blinn. In 2016, she graduated from her parent’s alma mater, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, with a BA in mass communications and public relations. Beevers worked full time with her dad while attending UMHB, and was able to coordinate her work schedule to accommodate her daytime online classes. When she wasn’t working, she was at home studying “Working with dad, he wasn’t easy on me,” she said. “He worked me harder, was harder on me.” Her education and life experience have prepared her for the position at the Temple Area Builders Association. Her duties are varied and include planning and coordinating the organization’s major events — the Home and Garden show in February and the upcoming Parade of Homes. She also works on annual member-only events and is responsible for retaining and recruiting members. “TABA offers two types of memberships,” she said. “Members who are builders and associate members who are anyone working in homebuilding, but not necessarily a home builder. That could Janczak be an insurance or title company, painter, banker, anything to do with members, just someone who is not a builder,” she explained. Beevers has a committee that helps with event logistics but ultimately, “It is my job; my responsibility. I’m the one who develops relationships with the members. I’m on site at all times.” “Kacie is the face of the Temple Area Builders Continued

“Kacie is the face of the Temple Area Builders Association. She answers the phone, talks to people, greets them at the door, and is responsible for membership, the Parade of Homes and the Homes and Garden Show. She is very well organized with a great sense of responsibility and she takes her job very seriously.”



Kacie Beevers’ parents came to support her at the 2018 Homes and Garden Show in February. From left are Emile Boardman; her mom, Tammy Beevers; Tori Bradberry, TABA Home and Garden Intern; her dad, Michael Beevers, and Kacie Beevers.

Association,” said Marty Janczak, director of governmental affairs for TABA. “She answers the phone, talks to people, greets them at the door, and is responsible for membership, the Parade of Homes and the Homes and Garden Show. She is very well organized with a great sense of responsibility and she takes her job very seriously.” With the Homes and Garden Show behind her, Beevers rolled right into the upcoming member golf tournament, and the TABA Parade of Homes set for May 11-13, and 18-20. “We started to finalize who is participating, coordinating to see how — Kacie many houses we have this year,” Beevers said. “We are at the forefront with logistics. If we have to change something there is enough time to change it.”

In between planning events, she keeps up with her daily office responsibilities. She checks off tasks on her to do lists and said if something goes wrong, it is her job to make it right. “I don’t want anything to fall through the cracks. I report to the boards of the Texas Association of Builders and TABA, and want to make them proud,” she said. Beevers, 29, credits her parents for instilling in her the value of hard work. “Looking back, I wouldn’t have the work ethic I have today if I hadn’t worked alongside both of my parents,” she said. Her hope for the future: To leave a Beevers legacy. “No matter what I do or where I am employed, I want to leave it better than how I found it,” she said.

“No matter what I do or where I am employed, I want to leave it better than how I found it.”





TexTalk flavours

Fresh food, local flavor

Family-owned Bird Creek Burger Co. reflects Temple’s history Photos by JULIE NABOURS


ird Creek Burger Co., in downtown Temple, opened its doors last October. Its interior is a testimony to the history of Temple, with historical photos lining the wall. It has an industrial look with exposed brick, silver, steel, and paneling. The open kitchen allows patrons to peek in to what is cooking, while the aroma of not-your-usual-burger cooks on the grill. The eatery is family owned and operated by Jacob Bates and his wife, Carleigh. Bates grew up in Temple and knows the history. He is proud of his hometown and reflects that in his menu design that depicts a railroad tie and a grackle. “There wouldn’t be a Temple if we didn’t have the railroad,” he said. The couple met when both were living in Austin and have three daughters. Bird Creek Burger offers fresh food from local sources. Their menu is upscale burgers, including the popular bison burger, and hand cut French fries. “All our burgers are fresh quality Angus beef, always fresh, never frozen,” Jacob said. He is so committed to freshness that he does not have a freezer in his establishment. In addition to his burgers, Jacob also serves chicken and waffles (the chicken breast is hand breaded and the waffle is whole wheat), Texas chili made with local seasonings, Texas tacos, salads, appetizers including fried green tomatoes, and assorted homemade desserts served in a mason jar from a baker in Fredericksburg. On Saturdays and Sundays he offers two additional items on the menu. “We offer a variety of fresh options, not just burgers,” Jacob said. “We have breakfast items and weekly specials. This week it’s fish tacos and smothered pork chops.” He said the fish tacos would most likely stay until the end of lent. Locally sourced artisan beers from



Jacob Bates and his wife, Carleigh, own and operate Bird Creek Burger Co. in Temple.

BIRD CREEK BURGER CO. Location: 6 S. Main St., Temple Phone: 254-598-3158 Open: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday Online: Salado and Fredericksburg, and upscale wines are available, as well as familiar domestic beers. His coffee is fresh roasted

and sourced from a coffee maker in San Antonio who brings his fresh roasted coffee beans in weekly. “We want to give the right service, provide the right ingredients, and furnish a comfortable atmosphere,” Jacob said. “The flavor of something fresh is always at the top level.” The restaurant offers dine-in, carryout and delivery by a local service. It is available for private parties on Monday and Tuesday after 4 p.m.

TEXAS CHILI Jacob Bates shares his very special chili recipe. 5 pounds ground beef 1 cup sliced yellow onions 1 can (16 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice 1 tablespoons rendered bacon fat Âź cup cumin 1 pack Emporium Spice Co. Chili Mix or brand of your choice 1 gallon water On medium heat, sear beef in a large, heavy pot. While meat is browning, add onions, diced tomatoes in juice and bacon fat.

Add the cumin and the small pack of spices, adding salt to taste. Add 1 quart of warm water to mixture and lower temperature, stirring occasionally. While mixture cooks, combine contents of remaining large bag of spices with 1 quart of warm water and add to the chili pot after the meat has become tender. Simmer completed chili for 15 to 20 minutes while stirring often to prevent scorching. OPTIONS: For chili with beans, add cooked pintos or other beans. For thinner chili or to use as a topping, add water. For additional fire, add ground red, black or other peppers. Freeze leftover chili for future meals. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM






TexTalk scene


Caring Ball raises fund for Temple Community Clinic 2


4 1. Lance and Carol Ann Sandlin and Jerry Tyroch attend the 24th annual Caring Ball on Feb. 10 at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center. 2. Andre Avots and Clinton Harwell 3. Scott and Janna Janes and Linda Moore 4. Jeff Parker, auctioneer, signals a bid. 5. The band Motion entertains guests. 6. Mary-Beth Anthony and Casey Holler 22


7. Mark and Jana Whitaker 8. Scott and Wendy Moger and Steve Wright 9. Marcos and Jacqueline Sosa 10. Jaquita Wilson-Kirby and Christine and Travis Mann 11. Auction items included this beaded handbag. Photos by MIKE BARTOSZEK

scene TexTalk



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TexTalk calendar ONGOING EVENTS Bell County Museum Exhibition – Texas History Now through May 4 Annexation: Celebrating Texas Statehood; Alamo Images: Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience; Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Visit the museum to learn about this great state’s history. 201 N. Main, Belton Call 254-933-5243 for more information Patios, Pools and the Invention of the American Backyard Now through May 26 On loan from the Smithsonian, this exhibit features period photographs, retro advertisements, pop culture references, and influential landscape designs. From the beauty of postwar garden design to the history of the rise of the suburbs and the environmental movement, the exhibition is a nostalgic, fascinating look back. Railroad & Heritage Museum 315 W. Avenue B, Temple Call 254-298-5172 or visit for more information. First Fridays Stay Out Late in downtown Temple 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. First Friday of every month historic downtown Temple is transformed into a giant party. Join us for street music and performances, great drinks, amazing food and after hours shopping. Call 254-298-5378 for more information. APRIL EVENTS Belton Senior Center Country Western Dance April 5, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Shorty Grisham April 19, 6:30 to 9:30, p.m. Bobby Dean, Timeless Country April 23, 5:30 p.m. Potluck Dinner, Denim & Diamond Seniors Line Dance Group performs. 842 Mitchell St., Belton Call 254-939-1170 for information. 24


April Pools Day April 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free Summer is almost here, and swimming will soon be on everybody’s mind. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under 5. Join the Lions Junction Family Water Park to learn what steps you can take to prevent drowning from happening. This free event includes lifeguard demonstrations, hands-on CPR practice, food trucks, games, prizes and other summer safety information. Lions Junction Family Water Park 5000 S. Fifth St.,Temple Call 254-298-5930 or visit for more information. Killeen Community Wide Garage Sale April 7, 8 to 4 p.m. The Killeen Community Wide garage sales fund various local causes such as scholarships for disadvantaged youth, donations for homeless veterans and the Women Army Corps Veterans Association. This family-friendly event will feature a plant sale, buy or swap and a classic car show. 306 E Avenue D, Killeen For more information or to register a booth, call 254-290-7974. Central Texas College 26th Annual Golf Tournament April 20 8 a.m., check-in 4-Person Scramble Golf Tournament. starts 9 a.m. Net proceeds from this event will support CTC Foundation Scholarships and programs to benefit students interested in attending Central Texas College. $80 per person or $320 per team Player Registration Link: Registration deadline April 13 Courses of Clear Creek, Fort Hood Call Wendy Martel 254-526-1662, for more information. 8th Annual Bush’s Spring Chicken 10K April 21, 8 a.m. $25 Preregistration closes April 15 $35 Day of race registration Over 250 spring chickens participated

calendar TexTalk

Carnival rides will be part of the Bloomin’ Temple Festival again this year.

in this last year’s race that featured the new Pepper Creek Trail Extension. 6261 Central Pointe Parkway Register online at or any Temple Parks and Recreation Center. Call 254-298-5582 for more information.

13th Annual Bloomin Temple Festival April 27, 6 p.m. to midnight April 28, 11 a.m. to midnight Enjoy Brewin’, Foodin’ and Tunin’ $15 for two-day pass, available online only $10 Adult single-day pass; kids 12 and

under are admitted for free. Martin Luther King Jr., Festival Fields 301 S. Fourth St., Temple Visit for more information. Continued



TexTalk calendar Share



David Rush

The Harker Heights Farmers Market returns to Seton Medical Center on Saturdays beginning in May.


Peggy Rush

Steve Conner

Michael Noatch 306 E. 6th Avenue Belton, TX 76513 254.939.3065



Belton Senior Center Country Western Dance May 3, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Larry Burgin, Texas Tradition May 17, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Jus’ Country Participants are encouraged to bring a snack dish to share. May 21, 5:30 p.m., Senior Appreciation Dinner — This is a catered barbecue dinner, and those interested in attending must sign up at the desk at the Center. Entertainment is Dr. Lela Butler. 842 Mitchell St., Belton Call 254-939-1170 for information. Chisholm Trail American Business Women’s Association Annual Style Show & Luncheon May 10 10 a.m. Doors open 11 a.m. Style Show Tickets are $30 each; reserved tables of eight available Salado Call Barclay McCort at 254-947-3617 or email for more information. Harker Heights Farmers Market May through October 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays Visit the City Farmers Market for fresh produce from local farmers, local honey, farm fresh raw meat, jams, jellies, pickles, baked goods made from local ingredients, hand crafted items and more. Seton Medical Center

850 W. Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights Visit parks or 254-953-5493 for information.

Harker Heights Family Campout May 11 to May 13 Rain date May 18-20 April 6 required preregistration begins. Register by April 27 to receive a T-shirt. Late registration through May 4. $10 per person, children 5 and younger are admitted free. Families must bring their own tent and sleeping supplies. New this year is Friday Night on Your Own. Set up after 3 p.m. Friday and all the activities will start early Saturday morning. Register online at HarkerHeightsPR. Dana Peak Park Road Visit parks or call 254-953-5466 for more information. Harker Heights 2018 Memorial Parade and Ceremony May 26 9 a.m., Parade 10 a.m., Ceremony Bring the whole family out to honor those who gave their lives. Visit the Parks & Recreation’s Special Events page for a listing of the parade route and locations or call 254953-5465 for more information. Email upcoming events to by April 27 for consideration. The next issue will include events in June and July.

well-fed head TexTalk

‘Make Haste Slowly’ brings a sensitive topic to the forefront By CATHERINE HOSMAN


my K. Rognlie loves plants and gardening, knitting and crocheting, books, pugs and German shepherds. So it’s no wonder that the main character in her latest novel, Make Haste Slowly, a Mountain Brook Ink Publication, captures the essence of her favorite things, including a good, cozy mystery. In Make Haste Slowly, Rognlie weaves romance, intrigue, mystery, real life issues, technology, larceny, loss, sorrow, dysfunctional family dynamics, human trafficking and healing. It begins when Callie Erickson relocates from Columbus, Ohio, to Short Creek, Texas, a fictional small town located somewhere between Temple and Academy, it was to start a new life after the death of her husband, Kevin. She was familiar with Short Creek. It’s a place Callie visited many times as a child to visit her Aunt Dot, who now lives in an assisted living community. Callie buys her aunt’s house and opens a flower shop with a book nook and a place to sit and knit or crochet, if that’s what her customers want to do, and a place where all good pets are welcome, especially her beloved pugs, Purl and Intarsia. She also became active in the local church. “I love knitting and the plants and the pugs,” said Rognlie, who has a pug and a German shepherd. “If I was going to open my own store I would have all those things in one shop.” Callie’s life is quiet - until she finds a dead homeless man in the backyard of her home that once belonged to Aunt Dot, and a package delivered to her that had been ripped open. What was in this bag that someone wanted so badly they would kill for it? When I started reading Make Haste Slowly (https://, I wasn’t sure which direction the story was taking me. But as I got further into the story and its characters, I had a hard time putting down the book. Every page led me to a new clue to this mystery. Rognlie said she didn’t set out to include the subject of human trafficking in the story. However, the more she heard about it at the school where she teaches three days a week, she began to realize the importance of finding and freeing the people. “Human trafficking was heavy on my heart the more I heard about it,” she said. “I wanted the main character to be close enough to it to make a decision without consciously bringing that all about.” In Make Haste Slowly, there is a young female character whose life was turned upside down after she was brought into human trafficking. Because Callie lives in a small town, it’s impossible not to be intertwined with the struggles her neighbors are going through — even something as serious as human trafficking.

“The characters are very real to me. I wanted it to be that close to Callie — it is that close to us,” she said. What starts out as a murder mystery in Callie’s backyard becomes a labyrinth of plot twists and turns that do not let Callie’s conscience rest until she finds the answers to all the unusual happenings that began with the homeless man in her backyard. Rognlie blends in God, Jesus, scripture and prayer effortlessly in the conversation between characters. Her use of scripture is subtle and moves the story along. “The faith aspect is huge for me,” she said. “I feel how much I’ve learned and grown though my own life experiences and how it changed my perspective.” Rognlie said she wanted to give her characters grace as they worked through their problems. “People are carrying much heavier burdens than when you look at them,” she said.”I wanted to raise awareness of others.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Little Blue Stem Grass takes on color as it ages.

Chicks and Hens, a succulent, comes in many colors.

Big Muhly is a popular grass in xeriscaping.


Contributed photos


entral Texas is a semi-arid climate and prone to drought. It can experience torrential rains with flash flooding or no rain for weeks or months at a time. People moving here from areas of the country where rain and snow gives lawns a lush, emerald green look, soon find out that keeping a green, manicured lawn in Central Texas can be time consuming and costly. More homeowners are choosing to xeriscape a portion of 28


their yards, or their whole yard. Making that decision requires planning. “Homeowners need to ask themselves how extreme they want to go and whether they want to do the small areas around the house or the whole yard in xeriscape,” said Ben Gillilan, owner of Hidden Falls Nursery and Garden in Killeen. “Do you want to do it yourself or hire a landscaper?” Whether you DIY or hire a professional, have a plan, he said. “Know what you want to see, what you want the land to look like. Do you want succulents or sedums? With xeriscaping,

For a burst of color, use coral vine.

Stone Crop is a ground cover that takes on an appearance of its own when grown around rocks.


use plants that require less water for our region, Zone 8,” he said. And if you plan to hire a landscaper, do your research. Get references from friends, go online and read reviews and meet the person first, said Gillilan. “You need to like them. You will be together for awhile and you need to know they will be there for you.” There are a lot or reasons to xeriscape, he said. With the right ground preparation, it requires less watering and maintenance. But you have to be patient. It takes six months to a year for your new plants to establish.

Another plus is that a xeriscape is earth friendly. Carefully chosen plants will attract honeybees, birds and butterflies. “Monarchs need a way station for their migration two times a year,” he said. If you want to attract Monarchs, Gillilan said plant white or purple butterfly sage, passion vine or their favorite, tropical milkweed. Honeybees like Texas sage. “They extract nectar from the purple sage then pollinate the next plant,” he said. “When you see honeybees in your landscape, they are just foraging.”



Xeriscaping uses different textures to create a low-maintenance landscape. BELOW: The Texas Passion Vine flower has an other-worldly appearance and unique beauty.

GETTING STARTED Whether you are planning to DIY or hire a landscaper, here are some steps to take to create your xeriscape. 1. KNOW YOUR BUDGET: Gillilan said you can xeriscape for any budget, but you need to make a few decisions before getting started. How large to you want to xeriscape? Know where you are planting. Is it near a downspout, where rain runs off the roof? In the middle of the yard, which is the dryer area for xeriscape, or around the house, which is the lush area? “And know your plants. Don’t plant succulents with autumn sage. Grow plants in groups according to their watering needs so you don’t have to water succulents,” he said. 2. AMEND THE SOIL: “Bring in a good compost soil mixture that will bring up the nutrients,” Gillilan said. “When you install new plants, give them extra love. “If you want to plant natives spaced apart on the lawn or in the flower bed, you can do pocket planting. Create a well where 30


the plant will be placed and blend the old soil with the amended soil. Roots will find their way to the natural soil.” 3. PEST CONTROL: If you have fire ants, and anyone living in Central Texas has experienced these biting pests, they can be eradicated naturally with beneficial nematodes. “Nematodes are microscopic worms that when spread out in an area of the yard will get into the non-beneficial insects, like fire ants and grubs, and will kill them,” he explained. Nematodes can be purchased at most nurseries and Gillilan said they can be put into compost tea for spraying. “These are beneficial pests and will get your yard in a natural order of things. It’s best to spray in the spring as they are sensitive to the sun. If you do spray in summer, do it under a shady area. They will multiply and do their job.” 4. TOOLS: Depending on the size of the area, you will need the following tools: Sod cutter (if doing a whole yard). It

Xeriscaping, the use of drought-hardy plants, succulents and grasses with landscape rocks, adds visual appeal to your yard. BELOW: Vine Jasmine provides beauty and fragrance.

will level the dirt surface. A wheel barrel, shovel, rakes, and a pickax if you are planting a tree, and enough compost soil mix to amend the soil. For a smaller space, like a flower bed, have a garden spade, trowels, and a compost soil mix. If you don’t have an irrigation system installed, a drip or soaker hose will work, as will a bubbler or micro spray. Gillilan said you can still have lawn area with xeriscape and there are some drought hardy grasses you can choose. “Native grasses don’t stand up to high traffic. Buffalo grass doesn’t work and St. Augustine is high maintenance,” he said. “Bermuda and Zoysia are drought resistant grasses and stand up to traffic.” Other grasses and ground covers include Mondo grass, jasmine, creeping thyme, ice plant. “Homeowners will need to

water their new landscape for awhile. It takes about one year to establish. Once it is established, you will need to water it once a week to keep it in continuous bloom.”

NEW CAREER PATH Gillilan is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army and also served four years in the Navy. When he retired from the Army he wanted to start his own business and opened Grizzly Landscaping in 2003. “I worked by myself and never got to stop,” he said. “I hired people and I’m still working all the time.” He bought Hidden Falls Nursery and Garden in 2016 when he learned the original owner planned to shut down the business, leaving Killeen without a nursery. “I jumped in with both feet,” he said. “I did it for our area.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


At home in Bell County

Growth continues in the Killeen and Temple areas Contributed photos


ike Linnemann of Linnemann Realty in Killeen said Bell County is one of the top three growing counties in Texas. “It is an attractive place to live and is drawing investors domestically and internationally,” he said. The county is surrounded by natural hill country beauty and is abundant with lakes that offer a wide range of water sports activities. For the land lover, there are camping, hike and bike trails, parks and picnic areas. The cost of living remains low and a family can still buy a three-bedroom home in Killeen for under $130,000, despite the 16.6 percent price increase seen in the past year. County-wide the price of homes has gone up 1.9 percent, on average, he said.

Textured facades continue to be a trend at The Grove in West Temple. 32


“It’s a seller’s market,” Linnemann said. “Active listings are down because homes are selling in a month.” Evidence of this growth can be seen driving south on Stan Schlueter Loop in Killeen heading towards SH 195 where new subdivisions seem to be popping up overnight. Rows and rows of rooftops stretch for miles to accommodate the number of people who have discovered Texas and are moving in from all points across the U.S. And the growth is not even close to slowing down. Linnemann said 500,000 people are moving to Texas every year with most settling in the Triangle area. “The Triangle is Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and Austin. Bell County is in the middle and we get the spillover,” he

“We are so close to the military base, a diverse group of people are relocating here. We are poised to have a big influx of people coming in and they need homes.” — Clifton Franco, Fort Hood Association of Realtors said. “More and more people are moving here and working in Austin.” Clifton Franco, director of the Fort Hood Realtors’ Association said the growth in the Killeen area can be attributed to the cost of living, and its central location to major metropolitan areas like Austin, Georgetown and Round Rock. “We are so close to the military base, a diverse group of people are relocating here,” said Franco. “We are poised to have a big influx of people coming in and they need homes. Fortunately, we have some large builders in the area that continue to develop in areas south of I-14.” “Everything is going south,” said Linnemann.“There is a lot of builder interest in the Chaparral and Stagecoach areas.” Much of that growth in south Killeen is going towards the Georgetown area, along SH 195 towards Florence, Franco said.

“South of Clear Creek there is a brand new subdivision putting in houses. Splawn Ranch and DR Horton are still building on SH 195 towards Florence and Georgetown, Franco said. “All the growth is there. There is a lot of land to develop.” Linnemann said an additional 2,000 to 3,000 homes are platted for the future growth in Killeen. “People are buying homes as fast as we can build them,” Franco said. In addition to new subdivisions, Linnemann said new upscale duplexes are “red hot and already sold out.” Prices for duplexes range from the $200K to $215 K, setting the bar for that market, Franco added. “It’s surprising how we can push those values and easily sell them. That shows how strong our market is and the investment value for multifamily properties,” he said. Continued



ABOVE: The open concept floor plan is a continuing trend in new home construction at this model at The Campus at Lakewood Ranch. BELOW: Softer colors and a butcher block island adds a creative tone to this custom kitchen in this model home at Carriage Trails in Temple.



ABOVE: The open concept floor plan keeps the family together as shown in this model at Grove at Lakewood Ranch in Temple. BELOW: The Villages of Westfield in West Temple is still a work in progress. The community is pedestrian friendly with paths that lead to retail and restaurants.

Despite the visual density of homes being built, Linnemann said the area is not in danger of becoming saturated “in the foreseeable future. There is still a lot of vacant land to develop.” People moving into the area are choosing these locations, added Franco, because they don’t want to be “right inside of Killeen.” They want to live just outside of town. Nolanville is another area that is expanding, Franco said. “A lot of investors are purchasing properties for rental or resale. We don’t have a bunch of stagnant, deteriorating properties. And it’s not just new homes, but pre-existing homes.” Unlike Georgetown or Round Rock, where the cost of living has increased significantly over the last couple of years, Franco said Killeen has stayed consistent. “Cities are expensive now,” Linnemann said. “Expansion of vacant land will drive property values up. Home values statewide have increased by 5 percent. A little inflation in market increase is necessary for a healthy market.” A little further north up I-35, Ryan Waldron, president of the Temple Area Builders Association said there are still a lot of areas to expand for development in West Temple and Belton. “We are the third most affected area for growth in the U.S.,” he said. “The value is there for Temple to continue to grow.” One thousand people a day are moving to Texas, he said, with 420 people moving into Bell County on a monthly basis. “That’s an average over a six-year period,” he said. “It is hard to specify one reason for all the growth.” In 2017, more than 600 single family permits were awarded to developers. “It was a strong start,” he said. Waldron said driving factors for the population increase include the cost of living, amenities, parks, schools, access to freeways, Scott & White Medical Center, and new manufacturing jobs which equates to job opportunities. Temple is also a central location accessible to Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Round Rock and Georgetown.

And a boom in housing development means there are more jobs for skilled and unskilled labor in the housing industry. “The cities of Temple and Belton are great places to live,” Waldron said. “More and more people who move here will stay here.” As Temple continues to grow, so will the housing prices. Waldron said they will rise 1 to 4 percent through 2018, partially due to tariffs being placed on some home construction materials. For now, prices on new homes range from $130,000 for a starter home up to the millions for executive homes. With the current low interest rates on home mortgages, however, Waldron said it’s still a great time for people to buy new homes.“The interest rate will be going up, so if they buy now they will save money and get a better value based on current interest rates.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Jeff and Kim White, founders of Bridge East Temple, on the front porch of The 4-1-1 House. 36


The 4-1-1 House

Bridging the opportunity gap Photos by JULIE NABOURS and contributed by MAGNOLIA and KIM WHITE


eff and Kim White are working to fulfill a mission: Provide hope and support for young people who need it. Hard work, community support and a grant from “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are helping them reach their goal. The Whites wanted to create a place where underserved youth of East Temple can go after school to be with other boys and adult mentors to learn life skills. Their plan was to buy a fixer-upper house and renovate it to fit the needs of the community. “We want to provide relationshipbased programs and experiences to empower the marginalized youth with opportunities to visualize, realize and reach their full potential,” said Kim. In September the Whites bought a house at 411 S. 32nd St. in Temple. The home came with its own historical significance. It once belonged to Temple civil rights activist Myrtle Captain. But they needed money for the renovation. Kim learned about the ChipStarter Contest sponsored by Chip and Joanna Gaines four days before the entry deadline. Winners would receive a monetary gift to fund their dream. To be considered, the Whites needed to create a video about their project, fill out an application, send it in and hope. “I made a video on my phone that Sunday, filled out the form Tuesday and submitted it at 9:52 a.m.,” she said. It was a mere eight minutes before the deadline. The Whites were chosen as one of six winners. They were summoned to Waco for the big reveal. They were awarded the largest prize: $40,000 to begin their

Volunteers of all ages take a swing at Sheetrock during the demolition process at The 4-1-1 House in Temple.

vision. The Whites created a foundation called Bridge East Temple. What happened next was equally extraordinary. They received pledges for materials and in-kind donations to rebuild the rooms, including drywall, hardware, appliances, flooring and labor. A roofing company

donated its services. So far, the $40,000 grant is untouched; it will be used for future expenses. “Having a foundation allows us to broaden our funding base and the ability to allow more people to become aware Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


and involved,” said Jeff White, who is a member of American MENSA and has a degree from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University - College Station. “People can give money if they want to do it. They understand the need,” Jeff said. The interior demolition began in December. Volunteers of all ages and ethnic backgrounds came to dismantle walls and remove floor boards. Tons of material from the old house was discarded, leaving only a shell. In the process, the Whites found memorabilia left by Miss Captain, including tapes of her most prolific speeches.

Some of the memorabilia left behind by Myrtle Captain.

Myrtle L. Captain: Civil rights trailblazer When Jeff and Kim White of Bridge East Temple first entered The 4-1-1 House in East Temple a sign over the door read “Captain’s Quarters.” It indicated that the woman who lived in the house knew who she was and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. Myrtle Louise Captain was born Nov. 26, 1939, and died Sept. 22, 2010. She is remembered for her civil rights activism in Temple. As a young woman in 1959, she took a job working the temporary night shift at the Fort Hood post laundry. But that wasn’t enough for Miss Captain. The country was in the throes of the Civil Rights Movement and she wanted to achieve more. In the late 1960s, Miss Captain had a friendly talk with one of the post laundry personnel managers. She expressed her desire to move up the ladder; she was even traveling to Houston to take keypunch classes. Her persistence paid off and she was appointed the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer on post, a job she held until her retirement in 1995. Miss Captain always wanted to walk with Martin Luther King but never had that opportunity. Still, she worked to make things better. “Temple was my home and I saw things in my home that needed to 38


be corrected,” she said in an article dated Jan. 21, 2008, by Temple Daily Telegram reporter Harper Scott Clark. Miss Captain was the president of the local NAACP chapter for 13 years, fought for single member districts for the Temple city commission and Temple school board so that “blacks would have fair representation.” According Clark’s article, “Temple voters approved a charter change by a 6 to 1 margin for the election of commissioners from single-member districts. The vote was 916 in favor of the charter change and 159 against it.” Temple ISD was under court order in 1970 to integrate its schools. Miss Captain was there in 1972 when U.S. District Court Judge Jack Roberts in Austin told Temple officials they “should go home and figure this thing out . . . meaning if Temple didn’t do something equitable for the minority people it would go to the highest court,” she said. Temple ISD was ordered to form seven independent trustee districts in 1978. Myrtle Captain also authored three books and was the mother of two. She is honored by her hometown with a street that bears her name. The street running along side of The 4-1-1 house is aptly named Myrtle Captain Street.

THE 4-1-1 In addition to learning life skills, the youth will have access to James Wilson Park located nearby. They will be able to enjoy water parks, football games and other activities. “When kids don’t have those opportunities, they are not learning, not growing, not gaining social skills to handle life,” said Kim, who has a BA in psychology from Texas A&M and an MA in Biblical counseling from the Dallas Theological Seminary. “They can’t dream, hope. People say you can do this, but if you can’t see it, you can’t get there. Experience is very big. You learn by experience, and mentors.” Jeff said there is a lack of male role models for the boys of East Temple and The 4-1-1 House will fill that void. Marcus Wimby, a graduate of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with a BA in business administration, and Dion Alexander II, who is pursuing a degree in psychology, will reside in the home. Both men are from New Orleans and were displaced, along with their families, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Wimby went to Dallas and then to UMHB, where he played football. Alexander’s family went to Missouri, where they lived on a 56-acre farm for several months. The young man from the inner city learned how to run a tractor, herd cattle and do farm chores. “They (the farm family that hosted the Alexanders) helped us get on our feet until we could get our own place,” Alexander said. “It completely recreated my perspective.” “Our backgrounds help us understand that things could be better.

Dion Alexander II, Kim and Jeff White, and Marcus Wimby. Alexander and Wimby will reside in the completed home to serve as after-school mentors for local children.

“People say you can do this, but if you can’t see it, you can’t get there. Experience is very big. You learn by experience, and mentors.” — Kim White We didn’t grow up with the best living or financial situations,” said Wimby. “We are fighting the same battles that they are fighting,” added Alexander. The Whites became involved with East Temple youth more than a year ago when they started spending time with the kids at Wayman Manor. “Needs kept

coming up. We talked to friends to see if anyone would like to help us with this need,” said Kim. “Most of the needs were educational. So many kids were behind in their class. Some kids couldn’t read and if they didn’t get up in time for school and missed their bus, they had no way to get to school.”

Volunteers helped get the youngsters to school. The White’s church donated pizza and sodas once a week. Friendships were formed. Needs were met. But when families started to move away, the program concluded. With summer 2017 coming to an end, the Whites decided to create a safe place with adult supervision where boys could go to learn life skills, eat a meal, get help with their homework and encouragement for their dreams. “It was more about building relationships with kids to raise awareness of gaps and disconnects in the Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Volunteers from Dell Technologies came up for a day in December to work on the demolition of The 4-1-1 House.

community, and help meet some of those needs and bridge the gaps,” said Kim. When Wimby and Alexander were asked to be a part of The 4-1-1 as the adult residents, they didn’t hesitate. “Before I met Kim, I was working at Lamar Middle School. I had been here four years and had no idea that Temple looked like this,” said Wimby. “I had no idea these that these kids existed. At UMHB everything is new. Then I stepped into this world and found myself loving these kids.” “Once you find something that has a positive focus, everything is going to fall in line with that positivity,” said Alexander. “If I can help in a positive way, why not? This is what God wants me to do instead of doing what I wanted to do.” “If one kid came back to me and said you helped me get my life together, this is living a good life,” said Wimby. “My dream, once we open, is to groom the first generation of guys. Once they get to where we are now, they will want to do the same for kids in this community. They will be living testimonies to Temple.” “They can break the cycle,” Said Alexander. “I want to give the boys the same opportunity given to me, give them the perspective, that drive.” 40


Joanna and Chip Gaines of Fixer Upper fame awarded Kim and Jeff White, far right, a check for $40,000 toward The 4-1-1 House that will serve marginalized youth of East Temple.

Wimby was convinced that being involved is the right thing to do when he found out Miss Captain once lived in the house. “We are living in an activist’s house,” he said. “Sometimes I feel this is what she prayed for, to use her house in a positive way, definitely supposed to be happening. All the historic memorabilia, the awards, stuff to see that this lady was somebody. The fact that we will live in this house is an honor.”

Some things Miss Captain left transcend generations. “She was a civil rights activist. Positively this has been handed down by God’s hand. Any obstacle we could have has already been cleared by Him, 10 miles before we got here,” Alexander said. “We will help to continue what she fought for during those times in Temple. It’s a sign of approval that what we are doing was meant to be happening.”


Welcome home!





Covington Real Estate, Inc. 2324 North Main Street, Belton 254-939-3800 |

“I can do it myself.” I heard coming from the kitchen. I stuck month, we have helped guide clients through complex issues my head around the corner to investigate what potential disaster related to boundary disputes, septic system compliance, home would befall my four-year-old. He was negotiating with his mother, warranties, title claims, appraisal shortfalls, wire fraud, and more. insisting that he was perfectly capable of making his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Was he capable? Probably. Was it in the You want an EXPERT on your side. Our agents have been in the best interest of himself and our family? Probably not. There were real estate industry for an average of 16 years and lived in Bell too many risks involved. What if he dropped County for an average of 35 years. We’ve the jelly jar? What if he fell trying to reach built relationships with other industry the peanut butter in the upper cabinet? What professionals who can also help to protect Our agents have been in if he made a giant mess of the whole thing? your interest in a real estate transaction. the real estate industry You KNOW who’d be cleaning that up! Our agents are highly educated and stay current on market trends and community for an average of 16 It seems a bit trivial when considering updates. When considering buying or years and lived in Bell a sandwich, but the unnecessary risks selling real estate in Central Texas, why not of buying or selling real estate without County for an average of let the EXPERTS help you? a REALTOR helping you are far more 35 years. treacherous. A real estate transaction can We have REALTORS who specialize in buyer be incredibly exciting and rewarding, but representation, seller representation, without taking necessary precautions, and having an expert looking residential, farm & ranch, commercial, new construction, and the out for you, it can be incredibly risky. list goes on! Whatever your need is, let us prove to you that you want us on your side! Every day, we have the privilege of helping clients to avoid potential disasters. Disasters that you’d never see coming. Within the past










Chris Lockett, REALTOR®

Chris Lockett, RE/MAX Temple-Belton

4016 South 31st Street, Temple 254-760-7276 or 254-771-3633 |

Not only does Chris Lockett love representing prospective home buyers across the Central Texas area, he was also born and raised in Temple, TX. Following graduation from Temple High School, Chris attended Concordia University at Austin and graduated with a BBA in Finance. After college, Chris worked in the banking/ financial industry for over six years and ended his banking career as a manager of a large regional bank in Austin. Since becoming an agent in 2012, Chris achieved Executive Club status in his rookie year with Re/Max. He has been a member of the 100% club every year from 2013-2017. In 2017, Chris was awarded REALTOR of the year by the local REALTOR association. Chris is also the President elect for the Temple Belton Board of REALTORS, and will begin serving his term in 2019. He currently serves on the Board as the TREPAC (Texas Real Estate Politic Action Committee) Chairman working to educate both REALTORS and the public about the importance of property rights and protection against rising property taxes. In 2017 Chris also obtained his broker’s license and became the broker for Re/Max Temple/Belton. When not working, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, Leslie, and their 3 year-old son, Caden. Chris enjoys working with first-time home-buyers as well as those who are seasoned in the real estate process. In his years as a realtor, he’s learned that excellent service yields both long-lasting client and friend relationships. Chris is committed to working for you, the client, to provide the information you need to make an educated decision as you buy/sell your home. If you are needing assistance in the real estate market, please give Chris a call (254)760-7276 or email at:

Janet Gillespie Dubois Furniture

1052 Canyon Creek, Temple | 254-774-9776

I have been an interior designer for 20 years. My goal is to provide friendly, affordable design services whether for one room, a whole house, retirement living or for professional offices and waiting rooms. Many of my customers have lived long and interesting lives and are in the process of downsizing. Others have just built new homes and are starting sweet little families. At Dubois Furniture we can realize anyone’s design dream for a beautiful space. We have thousands of frames and fabrics to choose from and specialize in creating the whole “look” from rugs, to lighting and, of course, furniture! We sell beautifully designed furniture from the Dubois showroom for immediate delivery and can also create customized furniture built just for you. And because Dubois is locally owned, we care about our community and our reputation and do our upmost to ensure perfection, for you, every step of the way. I love to do in-home design visits. It is a great help in the design process to be able to share ideas in your home. It gives me an opportunity to measure, discuss colors and space and all for just $50, which is then applied back to your purchase. Many people are unsure about working with a designer. It is my pleasure to make my customers feel comfortable and welcome. Raised in a southern military family, my core beliefs about respect and attention to detail help me provide my customers with the very best in professional service. I care so deeply, in fact, about offering kindness and respect, to others, that I teach manners and etiquette classes both to young people and to women leaving difficult life situations. I live in Temple with my husband, Cal, and we have three sons. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM



Starting in the $170s Temple, TX | AISD

Homes Range from 1400 - 1900 sqft

Wyndham Hill | South Temple Off of 5th St, Just Minutes from S&W Hospital & VA Community Swimming Pool Park with Playground & Pavilion Full Sod, Irrigation & Fenced Yard Lion’s Junction Water Park & Disc Golf Next Door

ANYCE NAEGELE | call or text: 254-913-0165 | River Place | Belton Off of FM 317 & FM 439, Near Belton High School Community Tennis Courts Wooded Homesites Built-in Appliances Convenient Access to Shopping, Dining & More

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Starting in the $260s Belton, TX | BISD

Homes Range from 1900 - 2600 sqft

LISA COMEAU | call or text: 254-760-8701 | Walkable Community

Starting in the $180s Temple, TX | BISD

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Villages of Westfield | West Temple Just Off Adams Ave, Across from Tarver Elementary Community Park & Greenspaces Hike & Bike Trail Connectivity Cottage Style Homes Crossroads Recreational Complex Next Door

RAE MCDERMOTT | call or text: 254-239-9594 |




Anyce Naegele Omega Builders

Lisa Comeau Omega Builders

Rae McDermott Omega Builders

5916 Alexandria Drive, Temple 254-307-8982 |

10308 Windy Pointe Drive, Temple 254-307-8983 |

10308 Windy Pointe Drive, Temple 254-307-8981 |

Anyce Naegele is an experienced real estate professional who joined the Omega Builders team in 2012. An Omega homeowner herself, Anyce is proud to represent this local company that is dedicated to the communities in which they build.

After a successful career in finance, Lisa Comeau joined the Omega Builders team in 2011. It gave her the opportunity to combine her interest in real estate with her desire to help others.

Rae McDermott joined the Omega Builders team in April 2016, combining her marketing and sales background into a successful career in real estate. Having moved here as a military spouse, she understands the challenges of finding a new home in a new area.

The key to Anyce’s success is keeping her clients informed throughout the construction and buying process. She provides straight-forward answers to questions and strives to exceed expectations.

Lisa fully understands every aspect of building a new home first hand. She recently completed construction of her own Omega home – a testament to her belief in the quality of the builder she represents.

Anyce and the Omega team are committed to providing excellent service before, during and after the sale - while focused on guiding you throughout your homebuying journey.

Lisa, whose office is also in the Grove Model Home, passionately supports Relay for Life, is currently the Survivor Chair and is actively involved in the community. She attributes her success to focusing on finding the right home for each clients’ lifestyle.

From concept to construction, each Omega floor plan is optimized for efficiency and functionality, providing buyers with more value per square foot, shorter construction time and higher reliability and performance.

Omega Builders is proud to be building in the newest section of Belton’s well-loved River Place community. In addition, Lisa represents the Grove at Lakewood Ranch, Campus at Lakewood Ranch, and Bluff at Dunn’s Hollow.

Anyce works out of the Wyndham Hill Model Home located in the most sought after community in south Temple. She represents both Wyndham Hill and Hills of Westwood.

Rae attributes her success to focusing on finding the home that meets her clients’ needs and keeping communication open throughout the process. She understands the ins and outs of moving and is dedicated to make it as easy as possible. Omega Builders, which opened in 1969, now builds in 15 communities throughout Temple-Belton, Bryan-College Station, and Georgetown. Omega focuses on quality craftsmanship, affordability and continuous improvement in new home construction. Rae offices out of the Grove at Lakewood Ranch Model Home and represents Heritage Place, Villages of Westfield, Valley Ranch and High Crest. She is also excited to be selling new homes in west Temple’s premier community, Westfield. Construction will begin in April with prices starting in the $140s.



Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation Temple, Harker Heights, Waco and Georgetown 254-231-0597 | | NMLS#270043 A Navy veteran, former realtor and lifelong Bell County resident, Brad Dragoo is committed to serving Central Texas homebuyers, real estate professionals and the community. He is the branch manager for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Brad’s career in real estate began in 1995 when he returned to Central Texas with his family after serving on the USS Nimitz and USS California during Operation Desert Storm. He worked as a realtor under the mentorship of Sara Irvine, now the broker for Sojourn Real Estate, and for several years as a realtor for Mikeska Realty in Temple. His experience as a realtor gave Brad a good perspective on how to serve customers and real estate professionals when he joined Allied Home Mortgage in 2001. A few years later, he opened Advantage Home Loans. Always on the lookout for improvement, Brad began searching for a mortgage company to better serve the area. In 2006, he brought Fairway Independent Mortgage to Central Texas. In his own branch and at the corporate level, Brad is a longtime supporter of the Boot Campaign Housing Program, which sponsors mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans nationwide. Military awareness and appreciation are important to Brad and the people working at Fairway. He looks forward to continuing this support through the American Warrior Initiative, sponsored by Fairway Independent Mortgage.

Brad is active in the community. He has been a member of the Temple Jaycees and is a member of the Temple Lions Club. He sponsors area sports teams, both at school and recreational levels. Brad rarely says “No” when asked to sponsor a local event or team, especially when asked by local youth. Fairway also sponsors many local events, such as Relay for Life, CTCS Walk-A-Thon, TABA Skeet Shoot and various other school and community fundraisers. He has also been a member of the Troy Area Fair Boosters and a buyer for the Bell County Youth Fair since 2001. In 2013, Brad was named “Affiliate of the Year” by the Temple Area Builders Association. The following year he was named “Affiliate of the Year” by the Temple-Belton Board of Realtors. Brad places a high value on his relationships not only with customers, but with everyone involved in the home buying or refinancing process. Brad and his wife, Katie Dragoo (formerly Griggs), who is a native of Belton, live in Troy and have four wonderful children - Courtney, Jake, Connor, and Carlie. Brad and his knowledgeable group of loan officers and support staff look forward to serving your home buying or refinancing needs. ©2018 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

3923 S. General Bruce Dr., Temple, TX 76502 NMLS# 2289 | 877-699-0353 46


Brad dragoo, Branch Manager


We’re all about Central Texas living ... the people, the places and the things that make us appealing.

HOMESPEC Real Estate Inspections P.O. Box 1369, Temple | 254-770-8057

If you are buying, selling or building a home, HOMESPEC Real Estate Inspections involved will provide essential information. Founded in 1989 by Brad Phillips, HOMESPEC has been providing real estate, construction and FHA inspections to buyers and sellers for more than 29 years. Kelly Hankins joined HOMESPEC in 1998; HOMESPEC covers all of Central Texas. “Our goal is to provide exceptional service to our customers who are purchasing an existing home or commercial property, or building a new home or commercial property. We provide them with information about the property so that they can make informed purchasing decisions,” said Phillips. “Instead of having just one person complete an inspection, HOMESPEC will typically put multiple inspectors on the job, which speeds up the inspection process,” Phillips stated. “We have many repeat customers that use us purchase after purchase. HOMESPEC’s inspectors are involved in continuing education programs so they are up to date on the latest products, building methods and codes.” The company is also involved in state and national trade associations.

Sue Lockett, RE/MAX Temple-Belton 4016 South 31st Street, Temple 254-771-3633

Sue Lockett has been a REALTOR since 1992. Call Sue, when you need experience and someone to hold your hand through the entire process. Sue’s experience is why she has repeatedly been named a top producer in the area. “My love for Real Estate is in my blood. Once I decided to pursue a Realtor’s license, I became very dedicated to my profession. I am proud to be a co-owner of one of the best Real Estate franchises in the world. Our office is conveniently located in South Temple. Our agents and my staff are here to help you with all of your Real Estate needs.” Sue stated. When maturity, experience and knowledge counts, call any of our agents on the Temple Belton Re/Max team.

Put your business in the spotlight! Don’t miss your chance to reach potential customers in one of our upcoming issues. June/July: Women in Business August/September: Young Professionals October/November: Healthcare Professionals December/January: Local Holiday Gift Guide Call us today to advertise: 254-778-4444 in Temple or 254-501-7500 in Killeen TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


The Wood Group of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation 127 Lake Road, Suite 300, Belton 254-933-9500 | NMLS #325551 | The Wood Group of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is a group of over 120 experienced mortgage professionals in offices across the state from Houston to El Paso and Dallas to San Antonio. From humble beginnings in Belton, Texas, the group has grown by leaps and bounds since its founding in 2010. In 2017 alone, The Wood Group funded over $400 million in home loans while serving over 2,100 Texas families. This past year also marked the second in a row to be named Fairway’s Branch of the Year and a member of The Aggie 100 by Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. Behind all of that growth is a team committed to serving people and seeing families flourish. That desire to help families across the state fuels every decision we make from choosing the correct loan product for a client to how we handle business relationships. It’s also the reason why you’ll be hard pressed to find a group of people more responsive to your questions or willing to communicate well throughout the loan process. And it’s the reason we consistently close loans on time. Helping families flourish is also why we work hard to serve those who serve us. The Wood Group sponsors realtor boot camps around






the state to better inform our business partners of how they might best serve our veterans. We also offer special loan programs for military members, educators, police officers, firefighters, and first responders. Many of these programs also include down payment assistance* for those who qualify and might otherwise believe homeownership is out of reach for them. Our Belton office consists of four loan teams with a combined 160 years of mortgage experience. No matter your circumstance or need, you’re sure to find a member of the team who has handled it before and knows how to guide you on the journey toward homeownership. It would be our honor to consult with you at our brand new office on the corner of Lake Road and Commerce Ave in Belton. This year promises even more growth as we add additional offices in the state and expand our product offerings to better serve Texans. Even as we grow, we remain dedicated to the hard work and service level that got us here. If you or someone you know is looking to buy, there’s a trusted team in your own backyard ready to show you what the homebuying process should be like.










Copyright © 2018 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. NMLS#2289. 4750 S. Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718, 1-877-699-0353. All rights reserved. This is not an offer to enter into an agreement. Not all customers will qualify. Information, rates and programs are subject to change without notice. All products are subject to credit and property approval. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. Equal Housing Lender. *Eligibility subject to program stipulations,

qualifying factors, applicable debt-to-income (DTI) restrictions, and property limits. Fairway is not affiliated with any government agencies. These materials are not from HUD or FHA and were not approved by HUD or a APRIL/MAY 2018 |income TEX and APPEAL government agency.

Stellar HOMES P.O. Box 292, Belton


254-933-8807 | Stellar HOMES was established by co-founders Mark Rendon and Rex Karl, who set out to establish exceptional standards in the home-building market for Central Texas. Always aiming to raise the bar in building practices, Mark and Rex continually strive for robust construction techniques through engineering-minded principles while paying meticulous attention to detail. Building at this caliber not only translates into long-term benefits, such as lower maintenance costs and higher efficiency, but also becomes immediately evident to any homeowner through the solid architecture and sturdy construction.


Stellar HOMES makes it a standard practice to closely work with clients to preserve lifestyle and individuality. This care and thoughtfulness is offered for homes at all levels. Pride of craftsmanship and legacy has awarded Stellar HOMES the cherished status of over three decades of expert home-building. And, coupled with dedicated care to their customers, it is no wonder why Stellar HOMES is the No. 1 choice for a personalized and worry-free builder for custom homes. While Stellar HOMES builds in many subdivisions, its flagship subdivision is Las Colinas in Temple. Schedule a visit to see model homes and feel the difference!




Jean Shine balances family, her career in real estate and her volunteer service to the Army.



A renaissance woman

Balancing family, career and volunteer service to U.S. Army Photos by BECKY STINEHOUR and contributed by JEAN SHINE

to grow in her absence. She credits God, her family and team for keeping the business going and growing. “They gave me the strength to keep focus, be happy and grateful. I was, and am, so ean Shine strolled into a conference room at her office of blessed,” she said. The Shine Team Realtors in Harker Heights. As a Realtor, she said the Killeen area is booming. “People It’s decorated with her many awards in real estate, come by choice. The cost of living is reasonable. We have great and the too-many-to-count schools for kids of all levels from medallions bestowed her by the special needs to gifted. We have parks, U.S. Army for her contributions. community programs, YMCA, hike Shine exudes a positive energy. and bike trails, and lakes. It’s a good She speaks about her family, her quality of life. It’s wonderful to see business, her work as the Civilian how many people choose to make Aide to the Secretary of the Army for this area their home. The growth is Central Texas, and her foundation — continual.” Friends of the Central Texas Veterans Whether someone is looking to Cemetery — that ensures no veteran’s buy or sell a home, Shine said a good grave is left without a wreath during house that is well maintained and Thanksgiving and Christmas. has a good price will sell quickly. “If people price a house right and take A CAREER IS BORN care of it, and it’s in good condition Shine was a stay-at-home mom to sell, my dedication as a Realtor is raising two children and taking care to helping that family,” she said. of the Harker Heights home her Shine goes beyond just showing husband, Bill, a Vietnam veteran, homes. She is a mentor, educator and built. The town wasn’t the bustling guide to the community. “We answer city it is today. “When Bill (a Temple Jean Shine, known as Mama Jean to soldiers, honors actor Gary Sinise, their questions and find their dream,” native) came home from Vietnam, she said. “Part of my job is to educate, who came to speak during a dedication of the wreaths at Fort Hood. he chose to come here because of the see what needs to be done and what military support,” she said. doesn’t.” Shine’s entry into real estate was serendipitous. Once she and her A MILITARY LIFE family settled into their new home, Shine’s passion for everything she encouraged her Army-family Army began as a child. She was friends that they needed to move born in Germany where her father to the area. They liked the idea but was stationed after World War II. didn’t know where to start. She German was her first language. When found homes for her friends near her her family was reassigned to France, own. She did such a good job they French became her second language. suggested that she become a Realtor. The language barrier was a challenge She did not plan on a career in when her family returned to the states real estate. “I just wanted to be a stayand settled in Killeen. at-home mom,” she said. “I was raised Shine attended KISD elementary to be a stay-at-home mom.” and middle schools before her family Eventually, Shine earned her real moved to Arkansas when her dad was — Jean Shine estate license and sold her first house. reassigned to the Red River Army Real estate remained a side venture Depot in Texarkana. “We lived in an for Shine, until her children entered college. itty bitty little town south of Hot Springs,” she recalled. “That’s “Then I had time. I didn’t have to have meals on the table. where I finished high school.” My career blossomed after they went off to college,” Shine said. No matter what town or country she lived in, Shine quickly A cancer diagnosis in the early years of her career did not made friends. “The military teaches you to connect quickly with slow Shine, a five-time cancer survivor. Her business continued Continued


“The military teaches you to connect quickly with other people and to support each other. It is the foundation of my life. Every day we try to be helpful. A smile doesn’t cost anything. You receive more than you give.”



Jean Shine with The Shine Team REALTOR family members, from left, son Steven Shine, closing manager, associate broker, Realtor; nephew Rodney Shine, operations manager, Realtor, CRRS; son Scott Shine, sales manager, associate broker, Realtor, ABR, ePro, CRRS, and her husband, Bill Shine, vice president and Realtor.

other people and to support each other,” Shine said. “It is the foundation of my life. Every day we try to be helpful. A smile doesn’t cost anything. You receive more than you give.”

she needed and ordered 200. It quickly became 400 when she realized how many graves were there. She drove her company’s moving truck to the warehouse where 200 wreaths were waiting for her. But she had to dig into boxes to find the other 200. A LIFE OF SERVICE “They were the perfect size and they had enough,” she said. Shine’s volunteer service began while her children were Then she went to Walmart and bought 400 bows. in school, offering assistance wherever she could. When her Shine returned to Killeen around 10 p.m. and started calling children were grown, she became dedicated to service with the friends, asking them to come to her office the next day to help Army and currently serves as the get the wreaths ready for placement. Civilian Aide to the Secretary of A large group of volunteers showed the Army for Central Texas.“CASA up to help fluff the wreaths. Shine is such a blessing. Other CASAs paid for the wreaths out of her own don’t have the support I have here. pocket. A total of 396 were placed So many people help soldiers and that first year. The next year the count communities,” she said. was 900. “I knew I couldn’t afford As the Central Texas CASA, that,” she said. Shine meets with politicians and She called people to raise money other state influencers. She also and created a foundation, The meets three times a year with other Friends of the Central Texas State CASAs at different installations Veterans Cemetery. But she didn’t around the nation. “It’s a joy helping stop there. At the time, wreaths Jean Shine and veteran volunteers get ready to distribute wreaths for a soldier’s family,” she said. “The were only allowed to be placed at veterans’ graves at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. biggest joys are the little things you Christmas, but Shine was able to get can do to open other doors to help people.” the law changed to the weekend after Thanksgiving. “Now there are 8,000 graves. The purpose has grown. We want to place a A WREATH FOR EVERY SOLDIER’S GRAVE wreath on every grave forever,” she said. “There is no end to our When the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery opened vision. We want this to go on for generations.” in 2006, Wreaths Across America came to Killeen for the Shine has no plans to slow down anytime soon. “I want opening ceremony. “There were bands, political speakers and six to continue to give the best service in our area, keep family wreaths,” she recalled. But when her eyes scanned the fields, she and customers first, and continue to be involved with the saw at least 350 graves. At that moment she made it her mission community, on Fort Hood, and as the founder of Friends of to see that each grave had a wreath during the holiday season. the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery,” she said. “We need to be She located a warehouse in Austin that had the wreaths there for the soldiers.” 52





Celebrate Mom with beautiful brunch


oms can influence our lives on many different levels; not only our physical appearance, but also our personalities. Many times the activities we loved doing with our moms can be passed down for our own children to enjoy. For me, both my mom and grandmother played a role in my love for food (cooking) and for fitness. My first memory of cooking was because of my mom. She bought a “kiddie” cookbook and let me try to cook scrambled eggs on my own by following the recipe — she actually let me experiment and learn on my own while supervising. Years later I remember her allowing me to scan through her Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and select recipes I wanted to try. Every night during the summer I experimented and cooked everything from egg rolls to pies with her help. Christmas was memorable for me as we would cook many different and unique types of cookies for hours while watching “Gone with the Wind.” My grandmother really enforced physical activity. I remember when she would visit; she would come in my room and tell me it was time to exercise. We did toe touch stretches, arm circleslow impact activities she and I could



BY CAREY STITES do together. I can picture her “working out” with me and advising me on how to eat small portions; she suggested I always leave a little food on my plate as a “lady” never cleans her plate. When I would visit her in Wyoming, my grandmother insisted my brother and I play outside (pretty much all day) and go to the playground across the street. I vividly remember her watching us through the second story window while she cooked. Every night we would walk around her neighborhood and she would stress how important it was to be healthy; she was a very matter-of-fact woman who did not hold back her thoughts, but I knew she meant well with her advice. Fast forward many years later, I

am now the mom of two young girls. Food and fitness is definitely an avenue for us to spend quality time together, not only on Mother’s Day, but many days throughout the year. One of our favorite activities to do as a family is to explore the outdoors-we love the water and surrounding trails and scenery of Central Texas. The best part is we get our blood pumping while talking and taking in the beautiful surroundingswithout cellphones. Gardening is another family tradition perfect for Mother’s Day. My daughters help me dig and pot the different plants and this becomes an opportunity for activity and education. Gardening can be hard work; however, team work makes the task more enjoyable. I let my daughters choose which fruits and vegetables to plant and we talk about the health benefits of each. As the plants sprout and grow, we all pick the “crops” and admire our beautiful flowers as they flourish. A wonderful start to a Mother’s Day full of activities is to cook up a delicious meal together in the kitchen. Whether the dish is a classic family recipe or a new one to try, working together in the kitchen to prepare a Mother’s Day meal can be a wonderful way to enjoy each other’s company, no matter the age.

Celebrate the Mom in your life by surprising her with a delicious brunch. Serve up this tasty quiche along with fresh fruit and a morning mimosa; you can even include lovely Mother’s Day flowers by adding edible flowers, such as Nasturtiums, to the quiche. Happy Mother’s Day! NO CRUST SPINACH QUICHE Cooking spray 1 yellow onion, chopped 1 (10 ounce) package frozen, chopped

spinach, thawed and drained 5 eggs, beaten 3 cups shredded Muenster cheese ¼ teaspoon salt Small loaf pan Hand full of Nasturtium flowers Optional: Turkey bacon, turkey sausage links or turkey breakfast sausage Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease pan. Heat spray in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and

cook until onions are soft. Stir in spinach and cook until excess moisture has evaporated. In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese and salt. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend. Add meat if using in recipe. Scoop into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Decorate quiche with flowers and serve with a bowl of fresh fruit and an optional morning mimosa.




Changing the world one book at a time

Photos by JULIE NABOURS and contributed by CHRISTOPHER McGILVERY


hristopher McGilvery, founder and executive director of Temple-based Give More HUGS (Helping Unite Giving Souls), helps underserved school children in five countries obtain the books and school supplies

they need. Since its inception in 2014 on the Caribbean island of Dominica, McGilvery has trained 86 student ambassadors and has touched the lives of 26,000 students in the United States, Japan, Grenada, Canada and Dominica. He does this through annual book and backpack drives held in each country. “We’ve made a large impact with very little funding,” said McGilvery, citing funds raised through crowd sourcing campaigns, fundraisers, corporate and family foundation sponsors, a global volunteer board of directors, student ambassadors and an army of volunteers.“Every dollar we make goes back into the community we serve,” he said, adding that no one on staff gets a salary, including himself.

requirement. While Taryn studied, McGilvery taught adult ESL (English as a second language), secondary methods courses and instructional technology at his alma mater. Taryn applied to medical schools. When she was accepted at Ross University on the island of Dominica, they packed their bags and started an adventure.

CREATING OHANA The majority of Dominica’s population lives in poverty, but their ability for self-sustenance and Caribbean hospitality offers a simple life. “You don’t have much. Many of the locals and families I got to know live a simple life. They grow their own fruits and vegetables and sell it at markets; they also fish and sell their catch at the market,” he said. Many families live in oneroom houses with no electricity or indoor plumbing. Running water is outside, where dishes are washed and left to dry in the sun. The bathroom is an outhouse. Some homes don’t have a front door, only a curtain keeps the outside world from coming in. But everything in Dominica is community. People don’t seem to mind when neighbors stop by for a visit. A PASSION FOR TEACHING “Living on that island McGilvery is a career changed us,” said McGilvery, educator with three degrees who was familiar with island from Angelo State University living from his childhood in San Angelo: a BA in in Hawaii. “It changed our communications; an M.Ed perspective, our view of the Fabiana Liburd, a volunteer on Dominica, and Chris McGilvery. in student development and world around us and made us leadership in higher education and an MA in curriculum and realize how simple life should be, and how we could support one instruction. He met his wife, Taryn, in San Angelo. She is a another.” resident doctor at Scott & White Medical Center in Temple. It was Taryn’s decision to pursue a second degree in SHARING KNOWLEDGE medicine that led to them to Dominica and the founding of While living in Dominica, McGilvery worked as Ross Give More HUGS ( University’s interim director of faculty development. He With her husband’s support, Taryn returned to school volunteered at middle schools, teaching arts and crafts, reading, to earn a second bachelor’s degree in biology with a pre-med and playing soccer with the kids. 56


From left, Chris McGilvery with Give More HUGS ambassadors Heather Beardsley, Trayven Collins and Josie Figueroa, and volunteer Tanya Moore getting ready for the annual book drive in January.

Emerson Betik is ready to accept books during the Give More HUGS book drive.

“I wanted to be involved with the local school system. My background is in education. My career always focused on

education. I taught middle school and adult ESL to people of all nationalities: Chinese, Burmese, and Spanish. It opens your eyes to want to connect. When you are a teacher you want your students to reach their potential, inspire them to learn.” McGilvery understands poverty. He was born in Texas to parents who were from the Philippines and the United States. He remembers his mother’s stories about growing up in Iloilo City, the Philippines, where she lived in a bamboo house with a dirt floor and no running water. She was 11 years old when she was forced to quit school to work on the family farm. She made it her mission to motivate her children to do well in school. Dominica was a reminder of his mother’s life growing up in a bamboo house with no resources, he said. When McGilvery returned to the Unites States, he wanted to do something for the people who became “ohana,” family to him and Taryn, and the seed for Give More HUGS was planted. He decided to establish a nonprofit that would help the children, but he knew he couldn’t do it himself. He recruited friends, partnered with schools in Dominica, and rallied the local Rotary Club and other nonprofit organizations to continue providing educational resources, books Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Christopher McGilvery, far right, executive director of Give More HUGS and his volunteers display a hard day’s work making bins for the annual book drive in January.

and inspiration to communities. To ensure his work would continue after he left the island, he mentored middle school and college students, developing their leadership skills so they could support the underserved areas of their community. “I knew I couldn’t do it myself. I needed people to help support education locally and globally. Kids out there are crying silently for support. We can come together to help children realize their potential to pursue their dreams and be passionate about their chosen career.” His first fundraiser was a garage sale where he and Taryn sold their household goods before leaving the island. Before the McGilverys left for the United States, they raised $1,000 that enabled them to register in the state of Texas as a 501(c) 3 organization. “That was in 2013,” he said. “From there, we just expanded, and we continue to expand.”

Volunteers prepare boxes for the book drive in January. 58


LOCAL IMPACT McGilvery knows he cannot be in every city or country that hosts the book and backpack drives. But his trained ambassadors are there to carry out his vision. Ambassadors host drives in several Texas cities, including Temple, Killeen, San Antonio, Lubbock and the Dallas area. In January a group of student volunteers and ambassadors for Give More HUGS in Temple (many from the Un-Included

Chris McGilvery of Give More HUGS hosted a Super Hero For the Love of Reading event in San Antonio. Clockwise from right, Batman, Wonder Woman, Amir Samandi, executive director for Summer of Service, San Antonio; Lindsey Hoffman, community development specialist at Microsoft; Deadpool, Robinette, Doree Collins, executive director of the Un-Included Club and McGilvery.

Club) created bins for their annual book drive, one of many School in Killeen has been a HUGS ambassador for about a occurring simultaneously in Central Texas. The bins were year. “It has enriched my life by giving me the opportunity of placed at area businesses for the collection of new or gently used helping people outside of my community and giving leadership children’s books for distribution to underserved schoolchildren skills,” Figueroa said. in the community. Shayna Fleming served as an ambassador with Give More “Give More HUGS expands opportunities for our HUGS for one year before starting a chapter at Angelo State leadership program that we have with our middle and high University. “Working with Give More HUGS has given me the school students,” said Doree Collins, opportunity to actively make a change in executive director of the Un-Included my community,” said Fleming, president Club. “The ambassadors with Give More of the ASU chapter. “It has shown me HUGS partners with the Un-Included that the need for educational resources Club for children to serve by creating has a real effect, and that it affects those collection bins for book drives, sign in our own community. This experience books and then give them to underserved has developed my leadership skills and children.” provided me with a platform to use my The book drive is just one of the voice.” — Christopher McGilvery initiatives that help local schoolchildren. “Every kid has dreams and it’s up to The annual Backpack Drive provides everyone to help those kids achieve their students with new backpacks loaded with school supplies and dreams,” added McGilvery. “There is too much, ‘you can’t do it.’ other necessities, like those McGilvery and his volunteers Let’s connect them to books and people who serve as mentors to handed out to children at two Houston schools devastated by help them reach their dreams and potential.” Hurricane Harvey. When McGilvery started Give More HUGS, he said he never imagined it would transform his own life. PAYING IT FORWARD “I want to continue this and keep it going because you see Josie Figueroa, an eighth-grader at Charles Patterson Middle the impact it has made in a short period of time,” he said.

“Every kid has dreams and it’s up to everyone to help those kids achieve their dreams.”



This vignette pays homage to the farmers and ranchers of the West community.




Explore history of West By CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos contributed by GEORGIA HUTYRA


f you are traveling on I-35 and see the 353 exit, get off and head east to downtown West, originally named Bold Springs. It’s just a short drive from the freeway and worth the visit to see the History of West Museum that opened in 2015. Don’t be in a hurry. The quality of this museum deserves the time you can invest. Step through the door and be transported back in time to the early 1800s when the government opened the land for sale to settlers. The first settlers arrived from the east via covered wagon in the 1840s to farm and ranch the verdant country of Central Texas, a land still inhabited by Native Americans. In the 1860s migration lessened due to the Civil War. By the 1870s immigrants began to arrive from the Czech Republic and Germany via ship to Galveston. From that point of entry the families loaded into covered wagons to take the 256mile trek to a new country. There were no roads leading to West. Wagon trains traveled through prairie grasslands. It could take a year or more to reach the destination with stops for rest and unpredictable Texas weather. The museum is a carefully orchestrated walk through history. Life-size vignettes illustrate the town’s founding. There is a log cabin façade that symbolizes the home the first settlers built. An adjacent room features an authentic covered wagon driven in by one of the founding families. Except for a few changes for safety reasons, it still has the original base and wheels that show the wear and tear from the trek. Artifacts that represent the household goods settlers carried are displayed and images of a time past hang on the walls.

Cotton was a major commodity during the 1800s in West, Texas.

This pipe organ stood in one of the original Catholic churches in West. The mannequin is wearing a Kroj (Kroi), a traditional dress from her region of the Czech Republic.

Other rooms depict the march of history. The museum pays homage to its settlers, early businesses, marriage on the frontier, cotton production, World War I, World War II, and the Czech heritage. Mannequins are adorned with mint-condition vintage clothing from the period. “I didn’t have to look for anything,” said founding director Georgia Hutyra, who was born and raised in West. “Everything, every artifact, came from the people in West. I only accepted what they could share and only accepted one item from each family.” The most poignant display is the museum is dedicated to the April 17, 2013, West fertilizer plant explosion. Its memory is fresh and it touched the life of every resident. After a tour of the museum, Hutyra took me to the site of the explosion, now an open field. A new nursing home and a combined middle and high school were built to replace the structures that were destroyed. New homes have been built, replacing houses that were severely damaged or destroyed in the blast. There is a new EMS station and a new children’s Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


A room in the History of West pays homage to the fertilizer plant explosion five years ago. The quote over the image reads “. . .and then our world exploded.”

playground under construction — the idea of a little boy whose fireman father was one of the first responders who died. His grandparents helped him raise the money for the park. Across the road, 12 granite blocks encircle a water fountain as the memorial to the 12 first responders who lost their lives trying to save others. It is a work in progress.

The Urbanovsky family donated relics from the early days of their family’s photography studio in West. 62 APRIL/MAY 2018 | TEX APPEAL

BRINGING THE PAST TO LIFE When Hutyra retired from her nursing career in Temple, where she and her husband lived for 30 years, and moved back to West, she wanted to nurture the artist in her and begin painting historical buildings. But the deeper she went in her research the more she wanted to have a museum. “I had the name, created a nonprofit, but it took two years to find an appropriate building,” she said. “We would find a building and the structural engineer said it wouldn’t be safe.” Hutyra and a volunteer board of directors overcame the obstacles. In 2013 they found the right building in the right location downtown. Two weeks later the fertilizer plant exploded — a temporary setback for a determined organization. It took a long time for things to settle down in West and for the board of directors to see to the renovation and repair of their building. The dropped tile ceiling was destroyed by the blast. It

This covered wagon carried the Grossman family to West, Texas. Except for the wagon bed, everything on this prairie schooner is original.

IF YOU GO: HISTORY OF WEST MUSEUM Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday Location: 112 E. Oak St., West Phone: 254-755-6762 Before leaving town, stop in at the Village Bakery directly across the street from the museum. It offers a variety of sweet and savory kolaches, homemade pies, breads and other Czech baked delicacies. was decided to leave the ceiling open, giving it a more historical look. Hutyra did pick up her paint brush again. Her original wall murals and framed images in the museum are blended with the work of other artists that depict early West. She immortalized the founders of the community with portraits of people that seem to tell the story of life in West just by looking into their eyes. Accompanying narration cards document their place in history. Renowned Western artist John French, who was born in Waco but frequented West, donated a painting. Since its opening the museum has hosted many dignitaries, including former Czech Republic Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Ambassador Petr Gandalouk and former Prague Mayor

Miniature of a Catholic church. The mannequin is wearing a vintage Sunday dress.

Thomas Hudecek. Mayor Ivana Majickova of Kunovice, CR, visited with West Mayor Tommy Muska on Sept. 15, 2015, and together named West and Kunovice as sister cities. “Without the museum, the history of West would have been a total loss,” said Hutyra. “It makes me feel good that we can teach young folks and future generations. Families can bring guests from out of town to show off our town. We are Texans and we love showing off our heritage.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


ADVERTISERS INDEX Atmos ...................................................................................... 5 Bell County Museum............................................................... 7 Covington Real Estate........................................................... 42 Crotty Funeral Home............................................................ 10 Do Massage............................................................................ 53 Document Solutions.............................................................. 26 Dubois Furniture..............................................................43,65 Ellis Air Systems..................................................................... 54 English Maids.......................................................................... 7 Extraco Banks...........................................................Back cover Fairway, Dragoo..................................................................... 46 Fairway, Wood Group........................................................... 48 Garden Estates......................................................................... 3 HomeSpec.............................................................................. 47 Killeen Vision Source............................................................ 53 Lastovica Jewelry.................................................................... 24

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