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A Monthly Publication Directly Mailed to the residents of Timberwood Park, Canyon Springs, Lookout Canyon, Riata Ranch and surrounding areas Postal Customer

October 2013 Issue



115 Gallery Circle, Ste. 102 San Antonio, TX 78258

FP Walk-In Clinic is a more affordable alternative to Urgent Care or ER visits. Instead of paying the higher co-pays for Urgent Care and ER visits, you pay the regular clinic co-pay. For a limited time, cash paying patients only pay $75 for the first visit which includes basic lab work.

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Mrudula Rao, M.D. | Child, Adolescent, & Adult Psychiatry Concerned about your child? Should you be? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Is it just a normal part of growing up, or a red flag warning of more serious problems? As a mother, Dr. Rao brings an additional perspective to pediatric disorders as well as a down to earth understanding of child and family issues. As a member of various non-profit organizations, both locally and internationally, Dr. Rao brings compassion for the community to her practice.

A CONSERVATIVE APPROACH TO INITIATION OF MEDICATION • 210.403.2074 115 Gallery Circle, Ste. 300 • San Antonio, TX 78258

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2/8/13 4:52 PM

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

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22610 US Highway 281 North, San Antonio, TX 78258 | 210.481.5688

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261


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October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

Note From The Publisher Planning Winter Festival Still Time To

Book Your Festival Booth!


ctober is when we at Welcome Home are busy planning the festivities for the Annual Winter Celebration. This year has some exciting news and will be bigger than ever. We are moving the location of the event to the area right beside Main Event at the Legacy Shopping Center. To start our event, we always have the Reagan HS marching band kick off the event. This year, we will have four of our area high school marching bands to kick off our event. This will be a sight to see. The Holiday Scavenger Hunt will take place at the Winter Celebration featuring AirLIFE Santa, which will take place on December 14, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The day of the Winter Celebration, scavenger hunt players will receive a stamp for each vendor they visit. Our grand prize will be a $1,000 shopping spree donated by Welcome Home Community Newspaper, There will be many general prizes given out that day from restaurant gift certificates to spa packages, to gift baskets for scavenger hunt players. The more vendors you visit, the more opportunity to win general prizes and a chance to win a grand prize! Visit our website at for more information on scavenger hunt rules.  We will have Santa, snow, games, rides, singing, dancing and food at the Legacy Shopping Center parking lot. Last year, at the Winter Celebration, the community showed its generosity by bringing over 7,000 new unwrapped toys for the Marines’ Toys For Tots organization. The Winter Festival/Celebration has been the largest Toys for Tots collection event in San Antonio for the past nine years. This

will be the tenth year collecting toys for Toys for Tots. Our mini parade starts the Celebration at 10 a.m. We encourage families to participate. You can bring a wagon, shoebox or anything that will roll. Make your own mini float for all to see! After the mini parade, watch for the skies as Santa will arrive by helicopter! Free photos with Santa are given with a donation of a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.  I was so blessed to tour the Food Bank in September. What an incredible organization. Read more about them on page 11 and see if there is anything you can do to support this fine San Antonio Institution. SpaySa is having their Casino Night on October 5th. I hope to see you there and let’s do what we can to help as many animals as we can and have some fun in the process. It’s hard to believe the Spurs season is already starting. I hope to see many of you at the preseason games starting this month. Have a wonderful October, and don’t forget to check next month’s issue for a list of vendors in the Winter Celebration event. If you know of any business in the area encourage them to support this incredible community event.  Before you know it, the holidays will be here! 

Thank You Stone Oak for 11 years of patronage! It has been an honor to be your custom design jeweler.

210.490.2404 • MOSESJEWELERS.NET



ACADEMIC SKILLS/SAT & ACT Prep/Subject Tutoring

20770 Hwy. 281 N. Suite 108-149 San Antonio, Texas 78258

(210) 348-8233 • Fax: (210) 497-7342 Article Submissions: Ad Inquiries Email:

Directly Mailed To Over 60,000 Households & Businesses in 78232, 78248, 78255, 78256, 78257, 78258, 78259, 78260, & 78261 Zip Codes. Plus, 20,000 in Rack Distribution.

Welcome Home newspaper assumes no liability in advertising other than correction and reinsertion of like-size ad at no additional cost to our advertiser. The opinions stated by the writers or the information printed from other sources do not necessarily depict those of the publisher or advertisers. No liability is assumed. Welcome Home newspaper will not knowingly publish any advertisement which is illegal or misleading to its readers. All copy and type arrangements are subject to approval by the publisher. All stories and photos submitted become property of Welcome Home Editorial and Advertising content of Welcome Home newspaper is protected by the U.S. copyright law. Unauthorized use is prohibited. Publisher Russell Groomer

Distribution Israel Vazquez

Director Of Production Kristin Oliver

Contributing Photographers Chasity Furse

Managing Editor Amanda Burris

Sales Representatives Patrice Long Libby Thorman

Writer/Copy Editors Chasity Furse Ben Spicer Production/Graphic Design James Stipp

Contributing Writers Sharon Pinkston Jason Gordon David H. Walsworth John Montelongo III Michelle Kaiman

Staff Writers Debby Seguin Calvin Speer

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

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Winter Celebration 2013

In past years Winter Celebration Scavenger Hunt has been held during the month of November leading up to Winter Celebration in December. This year we are challenging you! Scavenger Hunt will be held at Winter Celebration at the Legacy Shopping Center. How it Works—Starting at 10 a.m. on December 14, 2013, the Welcome Home checkin booth will be collecting toys for Toys for Tots and handing out the Scavenger Hunt list. Participants will have from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. to visit all the vendors on the list and get your Scavenger Hunt card stamped. For every stamp you receive, you will get one "General Prize" drawing ticket. For every 15 stamps you receive, you will get one "Grand Prize" drawing ticket. From 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., a Winter Celebration volunteer at the Scavenger Hunt check-in booth will count your stamps and give you your prize drawing tickets. Stay tuned for what we are drumming up in Grand Prizes this year! Drawings will begin at 3 p.m. You must be present to win. Come out to Winter Celebration, play Scavenger Hunt, build a snowman and Win prizes! *All toys are donated to US Marine Corps Toys for Tots-San Antonio

Date: Time: Place:

December 14, 2013 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 1803 E. Sonterra Blvd Legacy Shopping Center (281 N & 1604)

Presenting Sponsors:

On The Cover By Amanda Burris hile halftime may not be what all the sports fans fill the bleachers of the football stadiums for, the spectacular performances that take place always receive a roaring applause and leave crowds in amazement. This month, Welcome Home had the pleasure of finding out more about what the twirlers do from Reagan, Johnson, Madison and Smithson Valley high PHOTO CREDIT: Chasity Furse Schools. Allyson Padron, Margo Dausin, Michaelah Reynolds and Morgan Leach, 2013The four senior Feature Twirlers featured on the 2014 senior Feature twirlers. front cover as well as the connection with those in the crowd, the three younger, yet still impressively talented girls will no doubt make memories that girls who you can read about inside this they will cherish forever. Every girl has issue, have a year filled with performances, established their own goals and has worked competitions and auditions. Twirling, a hard to get to the place they are in now. sport that many may not be too familiar Although each one is completely unique, with, requires a vast amount of talent, time all are extraordinary at what they do. and dedication. These girls perform and While not every school has multiple practice all year long to accomplish their twirlers, or even one at all, these girls goals and bring something new to the floor continue to stand apart in their schools and (or field). with the bands they perform with. To find With each performance that they take out more about these amazing girls and on this year, filled with beautiful outfits, what twirling is all about, turn to page 15. precision and technique and a special


Family Life The F-Word By Debby Seguin


adies, I apologize in advance for bringing up such an ugly and vile subject, however, I would be remiss if I did not touch on a problem that has been chipping away at the very heart of marriage! Yes, I speak of the dreaded F-word: Football. The season is almost here! We must bring up this painful subject NOW before it’s too late! For too long this parasitic pastime has been rendering the males of our species round, deaf and blind, (though, unfortunately, not mute). Young wives, at the cusp of trying to please and “understand” their mates, foolishly fall for lines such as, “Honey, you are so wonderful. Listen, in order to finish

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this love poem I started for you, I really need to run it by the guys. We’re meeting over at Lou’s for a few hours, ok?” as she giggles and naively pushes him out the door, wondering why he needs 3 bags of chips and a case of beer to write poetry. The excuses become ever more clever. In fact, you can tell how long a couple has been married by the football excuse. 5 yrs: “Baby, Lou and Sara are having some struggles and he needs to talk.” 10 yrs: “Sweetie, Lou got laid off from his job and needs some support.” 20 yrs: “Honey, Lou had a heart attack. I really should go see him.” 30 yrs: “Darling, Lou’s dead. I really should go to the funeral.” (Fritos and Funyuns at a funeral? She may get suspicious. Better pick them up on the way!) It’s a conspiracy. At the grocery store a giant STOMPERS VS. CRUSHERS! is written above a life size cheerleader with medically enhanced pom-poms pointing to a beer display. No sign of an actual football player. Even a legally blind man paused for a glance. During the game, it’s even worse. How are wives to compete and get some attention? Once, just as a test, I carried cheese dip through the living room stark naked, told my husband I was seeing another man and had lost all our money in online gambling. He grabbed the dip, high-fived his buddy and yelled, “TOUCHDOWN!” Clearly outmanned, I left and went shopping for a ladies-sized football jersey. Debby Seguin (who joined the Tim Tebow Over 50 Fan Club) can be reached at

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

The SVHS Silver Spurs Special To Welcome Home he 2013-2014 Smithson Valley High School Silver Spurs have had a great start to their year and look forward to continued success. This year’s team consists of 56 girls, ranging from 9th to 12th grade. The Silver Spurs have also welcomed new officers to guide their team as they take on a busy year. This year’s officers are: Katelyn Egli (Colonel), Samira Abed (Lt. Colonel), Macee Sampson (Major), Lexi Tenorio (1st Lt.), Hanna Simmons (2nd Lt.), Megan Durst (3rd Lt.), Claudia Patrick (4th Lt.) and Kassy Alston (5th Lt.). The girls practice year round and perform at the Ranger football games, basketball games and a San Antonio Spurs Basketball game. Besides their busy practice and performance schedule, they also host a 5K event as well as a Jr. “Silver Spur clinic.” This summer, the girls attended a threeday team training camp hosted by the MA Dance Company. At this camp, the girls were awarded top honors in all their divisions and were given a Grand Champion award for their final evaluation at camp. After


camp, they spent the remainder of the summer practicing four days a week for this year’s football season, where they currently have been performing during half time and supporting the Ranger Football Team. After football season, the Silver Spurs perform at basketball games and travel around the state to compete in regional, state and national dance competitions. With a busy year still ahead of them, they have taken on a fundraiser to help aid them with costs. In October, the Silver Spurs will be hosting the third annual Ranger Rush 5K as a fundraiser. The event will take place on Saturday, October 12 at 8 a.m. at Smithson Valley High School. Individuals can pre-register online at or send a competed form and check made out to Kelly Hoge to 14001 Hwy. 46 W., Spring Branch, TX 78070. Race day

registration begins at 6:30 a.m. The race will be $30 before October 11 or $35 on the race day. For more information on the

Smithson Valley Silver Spurs or the 5K event, please contact Kelly Hoge at Kelly.

Wine, Women and Shoes, Teams Up With The Food Bank Special To Welcome Home t seems almost impossible to most women that anything could be better than an event filled with wine tasting, shoes, a silent auction and a boutique marketplace. But it can. The Wine, Women and Shoes event has partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank to fight hunger and feed hope. So while women have the opportunity to indulge in some of their favorite pleasures, they are doing so for a great cause. This unique event, driven by women for women, is a national fundraising event platform that offers sponsors a unique opportunity to place their businesses in front of successful, savvy and community minded women. The event will include marketplace shopping from designer and local boutique vendors who sell the latest styles in the marketplace. Wineries from all over the


globe will offer tastings of their most chic wines as guests also have the opportunity to have a bite from the Food Bank’s Catalyst Catering. The San Antonio Food Bank will receive 20 percent of all vendor proceeds. Guests will also get a chance to bid on trips, and other one of a kind items in the live and silent auction. Ladies can kick back for the glamorous fashion show with community and sponsor models that will be displaying the latest looks. While all these events and opportunities are available, the “Shoe Guys” will mingle around the room while serving up the season’s hottest shoes on silver platters. For once, indulging in a shopping spree is encouraged. The San Antonio Food Bank provides food and groceries to more than 58,000 individuals each week in 16 counties throughout Southwest Texas. With

a mission to fight hunger and feed hope, the Wine, Women and Shoes event is a way to help make a difference. Every dollar spent and donated will enable the San Antonio Food Bank to provide meals to individuals in need. Wine, Women and Shoes will take place on Wednesday, November 6th from 6-9 p.m. at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.


ALLERGY SEASON! Stone Oak Allergy 155 Sonterra Blvd., Ste. 101 San Antonio, TX 78258

October, The Month Of Pink

By Amanda Burris s the hot summer months begin to diminish and the cool breezes of fall begin to slowly trickle in (hopefully!), many get wrapped up in school, work and sports. While watching football, or looking through newsletters at work or even dropping the kids off at school, many may notice the abundance of the color pink this month. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, established by a collaboration of organizations and agencies that work together to promote breast cancer awareness to the public, and a pink ribbon has been established as the symbol for awareness. Many can say that they have heard of the disease either through passing or because someone they know has had it. While this is the case, many still fail to establish a plan for themselves that could detect the disease in its early stages of development. Research, studies and funding have come a long way over the years, but there is still a ways to go. One in Eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and the disease is the second leading cause of


Amanda Trott-Gregorio, MD

death among women —but this doesn’t mean women (and men) can’t put up a fight! Early detection is the best way to catch and treat the cancer and can be done both at the doctor and in your own home. Mammograms are recommended for women every one or two years and allow individuals to detect the cancer before you can feel a lump. At home, individuals should check their breasts and armpits each month for any lump, thickening or a hardened knot as well as for a change in appearance such as swelling or dimpling of the skin. If any of these changes have occurred, one should notify their healthcare provider. Self-awareness is just as crucial as maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While October is specifically Breast Cancer Awareness Month, various people, doctors and organizations continue to promote yearround awareness and healthy lifestyles, as well as raise funds to one day find a cure. So next time you see the color pink or see a pink ribbon, use it as a reminder to talk to those around you so that you can spread awareness and help take a stand in the fight against cancer.

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

The cost to attend this event is priced at $100 per attendee. For more information or details about sponsorship, contact Dabney Fletcher at 210-431-8306 or dafletcher@ To purchase your ticket online visit: http://winewomenandshoes. com/safoodbank

Specializing in allergy, asthma, and immunology diagnosis, testing, and treatment for adults and children.

Same day appointments available. Call today! • 210.494.0690

New to the Area? If you are new to the area, we’d like to extend a special welcome with a free gift filled with maps, magazines, local business coupons and info to help you get settled in your community.

Please call (210) 414-6200 or e-mail


Desperation and Hormones

By Donna Becker, D.O. Enhancement of Life (210) 545-5224 give everyone a 15 minute free consultation to describe the treatment plan and for me to judge if I am able to help. I am not turned off by the patients who place thick files on my desk and exclaim, “you’re the (fill in the number) doctor I’ve seen, no one can help me!” But, if someone has a condition better handled by another specialist, then I readily refer. For example, a patient came to me who gingerly placed a


small pillow on the chair before sitting. This person had an advanced form of cancer, which limited their ability to sit. I spoke to him/her (I am being careful to not embarrass anyone) for an hour. The patient had been frightened by too much information delivered too fast (I think) and possibly not a very empathetic doctor. Using all my persuasive skill and promise to help as needed, I convinced the patient to see a very sweetly tempered expert for definitive care. Another patient came to me with a few

We Keep You Rolling


By Rusty Belden, V.P. Belden’s Automotive & Tires (210) 494-0017

oday’s modern vehicles are popular on our roads, and it’s no wonder. They can be sleek and stylish and energy efficient. Unfortunately, people think that finding a repair facility to fix today’s modern cars can be difficult. Because modern vehicles require specific knowledge, parts, and equipment, people often feel that taking it to a dealership is their only choice. The good news is that Belden’s Automotive & Tires is a domestic and foreign specialist! Belden’s has made a concerted effort

to bring in factory-trained technicians that specialize in all makes and models like Volvo, Acura, BMW, Ford, Chevrolet and more. These technicians have extensive knowledge of a broad range of vehicles, and we provide them with the latest diagnostic equipment as well as continuous vehicle training. Additionally, we are proud to be an AC Delco Service Center along with a Bosch Service Center, which aides us in providing our customers with complete care. A benefit of utilizing Belden’s for your

pages of labs and asked if I thought I might be able to help her with hot flashes and dryness of the vagina. She described fasting one to two days a week to keep her weight in control. She had emotional outbursts, which had driven her to a psychiatrist who prescribed several powerful sedative-type of antidepressants (with the side effects of weight gain). She had never been depressed like this before, she said. Think of depression like an ankle sprain, I told her. Sometimes, you “sprain” your mind with events beyond your control. Thank goodness there are medications to help your mind, just like an ankle brace for the ankle. I told her that hormone replacement would help resolve her hot flashes and vaginal dryness. I had observed in my practice, of over ten years in the field of hormone

replacement, that testosterone might have mood elevating effects. Progesterone helped one to be calm and most of all, sleep through the night. Estradiol aided memory and helped one to feel, well normal. “I don’t feel like myself, at all, that’s right!” We briefly discussed side effects and risks of hormone replacement therapy and would do so in depth at her first clinical visit. Are you desperate? Think there is no hope? Not true. You are going to live maybe 50 + years in menopause, get help now. Donna Becker, D.O., Board Certified Physician. Enhancement of Life is located at 14603 Huebner Rd., Suite 2601, San Antonio, TX 78231. For more information, call (210) 545-5224 or visit www.

domestic or foreign vehicle repair is that all of our extensively trained technicians are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified. This means, according to the National Institute for ASE website, that by taking “one or more of ASE’s 40 plus exams,” technicians “have proven themselves to be knowledgeable professionals.” These difficult tests “stress knowledge of jobrelated skills.” This certification is imperative for technicians to keep up with the everchanging computer systems and diagnostic tools on all vehicles. An additional benefit of using Belden’s is that we have invested in state-of-the-art equipment in our facilities in an effort to better service our customers’ vehicles. If we don’t stay up-to-date with training and equipment we won’t be able to offer our customers quality auto repair and customer

service. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Call any of our four locations for FREE advice on any auto questions you may have! Don’t forget to check us out on the web for coupons and specials at www. Buckle up, Drive Save and Remember at Belden’s Automotive & Tires “We Keep You Rolling!” Belden’s Automotive & Tires has four locations: 13811 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78232, phone number (210) 494-0017; 29137 IH-10 W., Bourne, TX 78006, phone number (830) 981-9700; 8825 Fredericksburg Rd., San Antonio, TX 78240, phone number (210) 481-3330; 22000 Bulverde Rd., San Antonio, TX 78259, phone number (210) 690-1100. For more information, call one of the locations or visit

Renters Insurance: Why You Need It


Family Owned & Operated

Rusty Belden Vice President

Ronnie Belden President

Jason Belden General Manager

Your Neighborhood Garage Since 1972! VOTED “Best of the Best” Automotive Repair Facility by Kendall County!

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Not applicable to special order, dealer parts, or tires. Not valid with any other coupon. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Exp. 11/15/2013

13811 San Pedro 29137 IH 10 West 8825 Fredericksburg Bulverde @ Evans San Antonio, TX 78232

Boerne, TX 78006

(210) 494-0017 (830) 981-9700

San Antonio, TX 78240

(210) 690-1100

San Antonio, TX 78259

(210) 481-3330

Listen to our radio show on Saturdays on WOAI 1200AM


Betsy Dippo State Farm (210) 496-3276

here are two big myths about renters insurance. One is that it’s too expensive and the other is that it’s not needed. Not having renters insurance is a pretty big gamble, considering that without it you face the cost of replacing your personal belongings after an event such as fire or theft. What’s more, you could face the prospect of defending yourself in a lawsuit because of some accident for which you might be held legally responsible, whether it happened where you live or elsewhere. In many cases, for less than a couple hundred dollars a year you can protect your valuables, like your furniture and clothes, from loss by fire, theft, wind and water damage or other covered hazards. But many renters still don’t believe they need such insurance. A survey conducted by Cambridge Reports, Inc. for the Insurance Information Institute found that fewer than three out of every 10 renters purchase renters insurance. Many renters mistakenly believe their landlord’s insurance will cover their own belongings. In fact, it would be extremely rare for a landlord’s policy to extend to tenants’ property. To determine how much insurance coverage you’ll need, take a complete inventory of your personal items. An insurance agent can help with this by

estimating the total value of your property. You’ll also need to decide whether to opt for depreciated or limited replacement cost coverage. Depreciated coverage is the cost to repair or replace your belongings minus depreciation. Let’s say you bought a quality sofa with an expected useful life of 10 years. If it’s now five years old and would cost about 1,000 to replace, you could expect to receive about $500 (less deductible) if your sofa was destroyed by fire. You would pay slightly more for limited replacement cost coverage, but you could expect to receive $1,000 for your sofa minus your deductible. You should also keep in mind that insurance coverage for some types of personal property is limited in terms of dollars. Renters insurance also gives you personal legal liability coverage and medical payments to others who are accidentally injured while in your home, apartment or elsewhere if the injuries are caused by your actions. And, if you are forced to live elsewhere because of damage to your residence due to a covered loss, renters insurance covers additional living expenses. Remember, you may not own the building in which you live, but you still need to have insurance to protect your property in the case of fire, theft or other hazards. Talk with your insurance agent for more information. Betsy Dippo, State Farm agent, Long Term Care Professional. Betsy’s office is located at 19190 Stone Oak Pkwy., Suite 112, San Antonio, TX 78258. For more information, call 210- 496-3276 or visit

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

Childcare & Education, Easy As 1‑2‑3!

By Amanda Burris


or parents, finding the perfect childcare program for their children is not always an easy task. Many will search for a positive environment that can both nurture and educate their children while also giving them the opportunity to play and become involved with others their age. Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons was opened by parents with these same wants and needs. The school has now come to establish itself as a childcare provider that not only the parents, but also the children who attend, have come to love. “This journey began for the love of our children, Devin and Meagan, and our desire to find a trusted childcare partner for our family,” explained Kenny Glorioso, one of the franchise owners who opened this location in 2012 with his wife Donna Glorioso. “Our children have attended a Primrose preschool for almost six years now and they love it so much that they don’t want to leave at the end of the day!” Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons was one of the fastest growing new Primrose schools. With the great response from the community, they strived to achieve excellence in all areas while also upholding the legacy of Primrose Schools. This franchise of schools understands the need to partner with parents and maintain a dedicated staff in order to effectively help the children build the right foundation for their future learning and life. The Cibolo Canyons location has established a fully trained and experienced staff with teachers that understand that they have become role models for the children who attend and will play a big part of their early development. While these individuals are highly qualified, it is their passion for teaching and children that truly set them apart and make them exemplary. “Walking into my classroom in the morning and being greeted by hugs and smiles, knowing that I have built that trust and love with each student is incredibly rewarding,” said Ms. Meagan Baker, one of the lead teachers. Parents choose Primrose because they feel confident in those that they entrust their children with, knowing they are qualified, caring professionals who aim for the children to get the most out of their experience. Based on values of integrity, fairness and social responsibility, it is clear why Primrose is a first choice.

“Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons has exceeded all of our expectations,” said Crystal Goforth, a Primrose Cibolo Canyons parent. “Our daughter absolutely loves her teachers, she learns SO much, and she is always so excited to get up in the morning and get ready to see all her friends. They always pay such good attention to her and make her feel so welcomed.” Other than keeping the wants and needs of the parents in mind, Primrose Cibolo Canyons remains successful through the many qualities that set them apart. As a school that truly holds a passion for education and excellent care, they have a Balanced Learning Curriculum that is accredited by AdvanceEd, which ensures a quality education. With the extensive staff training and annual parent and staff surveys, they ensure that the children are getting the best educational care possible. While they clearly stand apart academically, they are also the only childcare facility in San Antonio with four ageappropriate shaded playgrounds plus a water splash pad, artificial turf on all playgrounds, cooling misters on all playgrounds and commercial buses. These features not only aid children in having fun, but also keep them safe while doing so. Each Primrose playground is considered an extension of the classroom and therefore supervision and alertness must be top priority, as in the classrooms. The staff undergoes specific training for supervision of children to ensure children are safe and secure while climbing, sliding and exploring the playground. Besides supervision, all Primrose Schools playgrounds are fenced, have daily inspections, monthly inspections and maintenance as well as an annual certified playground safety inspection. “As the parent of two elementary school children, we understand the importance of finding a safe, warm, educational and fun childcare partner,” explained Glorioso. “This is why we opened Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons.” Safety is always a number one concern for parents as they release their children into the care of others. While enforcing playground safety, Primrose Schools implement high standards of safety and security for their school, classes and activities through a number of measures. By continuously reviewing

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

As the parent of two elementary school children, we understand the importance of finding a safe, warm, educational and fun childcare partner. This is why we opened Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons.” – Kenny Glorioso, Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons

and updating their rigorous Health and Safety policies and procedures they ensure that each child that attends is in the best environment. The health practices that are enforced in the school range from cleanliness, proper food handling, allergy alertness and remaining aware of hazards that my present themselves indoors and outdoors. Safety in the school is ensured in a variety of ways. There is controlled access to the school, which consists of having a single-entry security system, where a member of the school’s management team is available in the reception area to greet parents and authorized visitors. Children must be signed in and out of the front desk each day and only a parent or authorized individual may pick up their child. With a focus on top education, a staff that includes passionate and qualified teachers as well as impressive safety and health standards, parents can feel confident in enrolling their children. “My husband and I are grateful that our daughter enrolled with Primrose School in San Antonio,” Zhehan C., a Primrose Cibolo Canyons parent said. “It is a wonderful feeling knowing our child is being well taken care of while learning in a very warm environment. We love seeing how much she has learned and how it has become a part of her.” Every child is unique and special and may learn and interact in different way. At Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons, franchise owners Kenny and Donna Glorioso have established not only the perfect school for their own children, but for the dozens of others that have and will attend as well.

Primrose School at Cibolo Canyons 3330 TPC Parkway San Antonio, TX 78261 (210) 497-7099


The Good Ol’ Days Are Here And Now!

magician, singing and dancing, it was like a night hosted by Bob Hope, honoring our troops. To add to the feeling of the night, the Independence Hill team dressed in period attire, playing the part of Rosie the Riveter, the girl with the sailor right off the pages of Life Magazine, Marilyn Monroe and a variety of military personnel. The girls’ hair was pinned in tight curls, with bright red lips and white gloves to finish off the look. Many of the residents proudly wore their military uniforms, in which they looked most handsome. With the stage set for an evening of entertainment and dancing, the memories that night brought were overflowing. “The night was definitely a walk down memory lane,” Independence Hill resident Lorena, recounts. “The music, attire and decorations fit the era perfectly and took us back.” The buzz about this event carried on

for weeks because it was not only enjoyable, but also meant a lot to many. During every stage in life, you should continue to have the type of fun you have always seeked for yourself, and be open to learning and trying new things. Providing a balance of activities while surrounded by good friends with like interests is of utmost importance at Independence Hill. The Good Ol’ Days are here and now! Be sure to call one of our Lifestyle Specialists at (210) 209-8956 for a personal tour and to see how this is all possible. Life is full of amazing moments and memories… let us help you find them! Independence Hill Retirement Resort Community is located at 20450 Huebner Rd., San Antonio, TX 78258. For more information, call (210) 209-8956 or visit

K9 Corner

pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. Watch those lit pumpkins: Pets can knock it over and cause a fire. Curious kittens and wagging tails run the risk of getting burned. If you dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t constricting, annoying or unsafe. Don’t obstruct their vision. Even the sweetest dog can get snappy when they can’t see what’s going on around them. Dressing your pet up can cause them stress. If he doesn’t love it, don’t do it. Keep pets in a separate room during trickor-treat visiting hours; too many strangers in strange garb can be scary for them. Plus when the door opens you run a high risk of your cat or dog darting out during the commotion.

Be sure your pet’s collars and IDs are on secure. Even if they don’t normally wear one, this would be the night to do so. If there is an accidental escape, identification will increase the chances of them being returned to you. If Tricks and Treats are your thing this month, DON’T miss our brand new “Clicks with Tricks” class beginning October 24th. This action packed class will have you and your pet challenged and entertained. It’s great for building relationships and foundation for all future training. Young or old, all dogs and handlers can benefit. K9 Country Club is located at 31305 Oak View, Bulverde TX 78163. For more information, call (830) 980-8476 or visit

By Michelle Houriet, Executive Director Independence Hill Retirement Resort Community (210) 209-8956 hen you hear someone say the that gives them a connection to the piece. “Good old days,” they are usually At Independence Hill Retirement remembering nostalgic memories Community, we keep this in mind as we plan of the past. Seeing things that remind you of a activities and events. We find it important special time in your life is always enjoyable, to create moments that take people back in for example, walking into an old country time, to reminisce about wonderful times in store or old movie theatre that takes you their lives. We’ve held a small town parade, back to a memory with your grandparent. outdoor Country Fairs and big band dances Do you wonder why people love to peruse that residents truly enjoy. Most recently, antique stores, for instance? There is a sense we put on an USO themed dance and of comfort people get as they create a story show. With acts that included a comedian,



By Catherine Laria K9 Country Club (830) 980-8476

hen you say “Happy Halloween” you think of candy and fun, but beware of some dangers this night can pose to your pets. Lots of visitors, people roaming the streets and scary costumes can all contribute to your normally calm, friendly pet turning into Kujo. Here are some safety tips to follow during this night of ghosts and goblins: Don’t leave your pet in the yard. There

are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen, even killed pets on Halloween. This time of year can be especially deadly for black cats. If you can’t keep them secure in your house, consider boarding them. No Candy for Fido: As much as they beg, remember chocolate can be dangerous for pets. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, even seizures. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs, even in small amounts. Ingesting tin foil and cellophane wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage. If you do suspect your

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October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261



f you are familiar with some of the non-profit organizations in the San Antonio area, you have probably heard of the San Antonio Food Bank. Their amazing impact on not just this city, but 16 counties throughout Southwest Texas has provided more than 48 million pounds of food in hopes to fight hunger through food distribution, programs, education and advocacy. Because their compassion and dedication seems endless, many remain unaware of just how many programs and extraordinary things they have become involved in. Through the generosity and support of local businesses, churches, foundations, corporations, government, civic group and individuals, the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) is able to partner with 530 different agencies to distribute food to more than 58,000 individuals every month. The SAFB warehouse, which is currently about to expand to store even more, holds all of the food and grocery products donated, including produce. Through the help of donations, onsite community gardens and many volunteers, the SAFB is able to gather food and keep all of it organized through an inventory that shelters can even access online. Many may be familiar with this portion of the Food Bank and may have even seen one of their three mobile pantries that make trips each day for distribution. But, it is in the way that they have used their resources to impact others in the long run that is truly impressive. While around 49 million Americans are food insecure and will take what they can, the SAFB has seen the need for nutrition education and for providing a way to end what seems like an ongoing cycle of hunger and unemployment. The SAFB has nutrition educators who focus on teaching those in need how to shop efficiently to buy products that are not just quick and easy, but rather, healthy items that they can prepare to make meal that have a more long-term difference to their nutritional health. Ultimately, the goal of the SAFB is to aid as many as they can in the fight against hunger. One of the most common reasons that individuals are forced to rely on food pantries is the lack of job training and inability to find sustainable employment. Through the Community Kitchen program, the SAFB established an exciting way to train the unemployed while continuing to feed the hungry. The students enrolled in the Community Kitchen program get trained in everything from basic food safety to general food prep, all skills needed to qualify them for a culinary career. This 20-week course allows students to prepare food for others in need, while establishing a trade for themselves that they can use to become successful members of society. The hope for this program was that the Food Bank could establish a way to help diminish hunger through education, and so far it has been incredibly successful. The kitchens at the SAFB are always abuzz with students and trained chiefs making and preparing food. It was around four years ago when a new idea for further growth came to light, as community members who toured the Food Bank continued to be impressed with the delicious food prepared and served to them. After getting various requests to host lunches or serve food for business events, there was no question to use this as an opportunity for the SAFB to grow and do more. “The first and ultimate goal is to have a social enterprise program,” said Michael Guerra, the SAFB Chief Development Officer, as he explained what the Catalyst Catering program was all about. This program, lead by a team of catering professionals and high quality chiefs, generates funding by providing a catering service (using purchased products and not donated food) to Southwest Texas. While most know the SAFB for their service to those in need, they have also quickly established themselves as impressive chiefs, even winning best Mac and Cheese and best chili in culinary competitions. Their large menu features an array of choices for all types of events.

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

“From the mayor’s office to top culprit companies to high end quinceañeras and weddings, this catering group does it all,” Guerra explained. While the program only uses fully trained Chiefs for their catering events, they do occasionally use student graduates from their Community Kitchen program to get more experience and training. Current students can also act as extra help in the kitchen when necessary to prepare for events. “The most rewarding part about the Catalyst program, 100 percent, is seeing the students participating in the program out in front and getting jobs,” said Guerra. By using Catalyst Catering for your next event, you are not only booking exquisite food, but are taking part in this new concept of catering for a cause. With the holidays just around the corner, many parties are being planned and organized and need caterers. To book Catalyst Catering, a decision you wont regret, call 210-431-8401 or email catalyst@ Through new and diverse ways, the SAFB has found opportunities to reach out and not only aid the communities of Southwest Texas, but to enhance them through education as well. With many partnerships with other organizations and various life-altering programs offered, the Food Bank is looking to make a difference in the lives of many not just today, but for tomorrow and for life. As always, the San Antonio Food Bank welcomes the community to donate food, their time through volunteering and money. While the SAFB may be a far drive for most, there are food barrels at every Goodwill where individuals can make drop-offs. For more information on the San Antonio Food Bank and how you, your company or your organization can aid and give back in some way, visit


Library Plans One Book/One Community Events

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By Sharon Pinkston Bulverde/Spring Branch Library he Friends of the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library has selected “A Walk in the Woods” as the book for this year’s One Book/One Community (OB/ OC) program. OB/OC is a reading event designed around one book so the community may read and enjoy together the same book at the same time. Written by Bill Bryson, the bestselling book describes his trek along the Appalachian Trail. On Thursday, October 3, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Robert Edmonson of the Texas A&M Forest Service will present the program, “The Big Tree Registry,” which includes the world’s biggest trees of different species. Two of the largest trees of their species are in Comal County. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8, the movie, “Trek: A Journey on the Appalachian Trail” will be shown. The documentary gives viewers insights into the lives of hikers and provides a feeling of being on the trail. A panel discussion, “On the Trail,” is planned for Thursday, October 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Those attending will be able to participate in a discussion of hiking experiences and will include those who have hiked the Appalachian Trail. The

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Tammy Anderson, president of One Book/ One Community poses for a picture.

movie, “Trek: A Journey on the Appalachian Trail” will also be shown. OB/OC events will conclude with a bus trip to Garner State Park on Thursday, October 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Afterward, the bus will head for Medina to the Love Creek Orchards and The Apple Store. Registration can be done at or by calling 830-438-4864. The public is encouraged to participate in any or all of the events and a limited number of copies of “A Walk in the Woods” are available at the library for purchase at $5 each. The OB/OC program is made possible by a grant from Wells Fargo.

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No, that’s not the Hamburglar, it’s Freiheit Elementary Hope Martinez gives her grandson Ethan Ruiz a big student Woody Bagnall enjoying a Happy Meal lunch hug during Freiheit Elementary School’s Grandparents alongside his grandmother Dottie Albrecht. Day celebration. Campuses across Comal ISD held ceremonies to honor grandparents on September 6.

Submitted By Jason Gordon isitors came from all over Texas and far beyond to be a part of Comal ISD’s celebration of Grandparents Day on September 6. Grandparents were invited to eat either breakfast or lunch with their grandchildren, and many visited classrooms afterward. “This is our greatest generation, and we want everyone to know grandparents are always welcome on Comal ISD campuses,” said superintendent Andrew Kim. “I’m very pleased with the turnout we had all around our district.” Grandparents from as far away as California and even England visited Comal ISD elementary schools to be with their grandchildren on this special day. “We live in Houston and as soon as Ethan called us and invited us we told him we’d be there,” said Hope Martinez, who


visited her grandson at Freiheit Elementary. “I wish a lot more school districts did this because it’s such a nice atmosphere with so many grandparents supporting their grandchildren.” Dottie Albrecht, who’s grandson Woody Bagnall also attends Freiheit Elementary, agreed. “It’s wonderful to see so many smiling faces,” Albrecht said. “This is a tremendous thing. We were looking forward to it all week.” More than 300 grandparents visited Freiheit Elementary, a number that was matched or surpassed by many other Comal ISD campuses. “This is great,” said Bagnall, a 3rd-grade student. “I never expected to see this many grandparents here. Everyone is having such a good time.”

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

Discoveries Thru Vision By Dr. Erin M. Nevelow Nevelow Eye Associates (210) 349-2437 • of digital device. Most people have at least either a cell phone or computer, sometimes both; and if you’re really digital, you sit in atients ask me all the time, “Is using front of a computer all day, use a cell phone my phone/kindle/ipad for long periods during lunch and a tablet to read before of time going to hurt my eyes?” I used bed. All this time in front of digital devices to say not really, as long as you take plenty leads to increased exposure to blue light, of breaks and adjust your font if you need especially high-energy visible (HEV) blue to. The same thing was true of the hand light. Violet and blue are the shortest held games the kids were using, limit the wavelength and highest energy light of the time to twenty minutes and then send them outside. Now, however, most people spend visible light spectrum. They also scatter the about half their time in front of some type most, causing hazing and decreased contrast,

Are Your High Tech Devices Damaging Your Eyes?


which affects the sharpness and clarity of what you see. Increased scattering can also cause eye fatigue, headache and blurred vision. HEV blue light, which is emitted in high doses from almost all the new digital devices, has been shown to cause retinal damage. HEV, when accumulated over a lifetime, has been shown to increase the release of free radicals in the retina. These free radicals then cause damage to the retina, especially the macula, which leads to macula degeneration. So what do we do about HEV, since it doesn’t seem like anyone is giving up his or her digital devices anytime soon? You choose an anti-reflective coating for your lenses that selectively filter HEV out and let the beneficial light in. This in turn increases contrast and clarity and decreases eye strain and blurred vision. Most companies will be coming out with some version of this type of coating in the next year, just ask your

Panther Springs Park Closer To Reality Submitted By David H. Walsworth, Wilderness Oak Alliance Park Committee Chair he Wilderness Oak Alliance’s vision of a new park is now one step closer to reality. Phase I plans for the 280 acre Panther Springs Park have been finalized and approved, and the plans are now being processed through the appropriate city departments as part of a Phase I construction bid preparation. Panther Springs Park is to be located in the Edwards aquifer recharge area between Blanco Road and Wilderness Oak. The park’s main entrance will be off of Wilderness Oak between the Wilderness Pointe and The


Forest at Stone Oak neighborhoods. The park will have a 2.94 mile 8 foot wide concrete trail system, trailheads at the park entrances, both rest and picnic areas along the trail, and a dog park with separate areas for both large and small dogs. In addition, there will be appropriate directional way finding and interpretive signage, a water fountain, restroom facility, parking, shade structures and a pavilion. All park facilities will be ADA compliant. The Bid Package is scheduled for completion on October 6, 2013. The package will then be advertised for bid submission, with the contract scheduled to be awarded January 9, 2014. Construction

should begin January 27, 2014, and the project completed by September 30, 2014 with a public grand opening. The project is part of the Proposition 3, Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, in the City 2012 – 2017 Bond Package. For the past three years, WOA has been working with District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, Mr. Dan Parman, developer of Stone Oak, as well as various City Departments and local businesses. In addition, the Property Owners Associations as well as agencies such as NEISD, The San Antonio River Authority, the San Antonio Public Library and the Mays Family YMCA also helped to implement the vision of the new

Seeing to your family’s needs

park – one set to be in a natural setting, for the Stone Oak / North Central San Antonio area north of Loop 1604. Park hours are scheduled to be dawn to dusk. Other park entrances will be located at Wilderness Oak Elementary School, The Parman Library, and The Mays Family YMCA. For more information and periodic status updates, please visit the Panther Springs Park Facebook page, or contact WOA Park Committee Chair Dave Walsworth at

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optician about it. Then make sure you take some time away from the computer and cell phone; your eyes will thank you for it. If you have any questions about this topic or any other eye topics please call Dr.’s John and Erin Nevelow at 210.349.2437 or at our website www. Look us up on facebook.

t Nevelow Eye Associates, we focus on the specific needs of each patient. Regular eye exams are key to healthy eyesight as well as early detection of certain diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic eye diseases and macular degeneration. We provide the latest fashions in glasses, all types of contact lenses as well as laser vision consultations for the entire family.

If you’re between jobs, in school, or starting your own business, don’t sweat it. I have plans from Assurant Health designed with your needs in mind. To find out more about short-term, student, or individual medical coverage, call me today.

Follow me on Facebook Nevelow Eye Associates • 19190 Stone Oak Pkwy, Suite 120 • 349-2437 October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261


To The SVHS Parents John Montelongo III Principal Smithson Valley H.S. 830-855-1000


t’s hard to believe it’s that time of the year again - the beginning of a new school year! Education is one of the few things in life that we can really start over and have a new beginning year after year. Welcome back! As part of the learning

community at Smithson Valley, you are just as important to your children’s education as any teacher that we have. Your children receive the best education when you and our dedicated teachers work as a team. In addition to our teacher’s ability to teach what they need to learn, it’s a parent’s enthusiasm, support and involvement that inspire children to do their best. Together we can set goals, both individual and group/

team, but most importantly provide your child with most engaging, meaningful, quality education. We want every child to succeed and to enjoy their high school career. There’s a lot of excitement ahead of us, including new teachers to meet, new books to read, new friends to make and new skills to master. I look forward to you sharing in those exciting times. We will renew competitions with past opponents and create competitive relationships with new schools. As we embark in our new school year in academic and athletic competitions, Rangers will strive for excellence and achieve at the highest level.

As a parent, I know how fast time goes by. One year your child is in 1st grade, and seemingly, in the blink of an eye they’re in middle school…or in their senior year of high school for that matter! In closing, I encourage you to fully embrace the moment and I urge you to take the time from your busy schedule to become familiar with our school, as well as create a homework-friendly home environment that will allow your children to excel. Thank you for your commitment to your child’s education and I look forward to seeing you in the very near future.

Alamo City Dancers Prepare For Production Submitted By Angela Rodriguez he 2013-2014 Alamo City Dance Company is preparing for their 21st annual production of “The Nutcracker”. This season’s performances will be Saturday, December 21, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday December 22, at 2 p.m. at the McAllister Auditorium on the campus of San Antonio College located at 1300 San Pedro Ave. This holiday classic tells the story of a young girl named Clara who is given a nutcracker as a gift and later that evening dreams of encounters with mice and soldiers in battle. Her nutcracker turns into a prince to save the day. The Alamo City Dance Company’s The Nutcracker premiered in 1993 with a cast of 35. This season’s production boasts 105 dancers in over 200 roles danced by San



Antonians, with the exception of guest artist, Mauro Villanueva of the Joffrey Ballet, who will be featured as Cavalier. The production also features ballerina Roxanna Pena of the Alamo City Dance Company. The Alamo City Dance Company, founded by Nancy Grossenbacher and Scott Conway, is in residence at the San Antonio School for the Performing Arts. Under the direction of Mr. Conway, ACDC performs ballet classics, contemporary jazz, and modern expressionism. ACDC is an all-encompassing dance company, exploring tap and ethnic dances. The Alamo City Performing Arts Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting dance and the arts in the San Antonio community. An annually changing production of costumes, scenic elements, and choreography, “The Nutcracker” is a ballet


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for the entire family. Tickets are reserved Seating, $30 Orchestra, and $25 for Balcony with a 25 percent discount for Groups of 20 or more. Student prices are available. Call the ACPAA Box Office at (210) 495-0129 to reserve your tickets. or visit Celebrate the Holidays with Alamo City Dance Company’s, “The Nutcracker”. the box office at 12915 For further information on the Alamo Jones-Maltsberger Road, Suite 200, San City Dance Company or the Alamo City Antonio. The Box Office is open Monday Performing Arts Association, visit www. 6 – 8 p.m., Tues - Fri 5:30 – 8 p.m. or send an email to

Checkmate: Chess Included In Comal ISD

Submitted By Jason Gordon s part of Comal ISD’s district-wide chess initiative, new Timberwood Park SAGE teacher Jennine Zepeda held a class in the campus library during staff development day on August 19. Zepeda read from “Chess Book I: Once A Pawn A Time” and either helped teachers hone their chess skills or learn the game for the first time. After the lesson, teachers paired up and tested their abilities in chess matches. Comal ISD’s third grade and seventh grade students will spend time learning chess in the classroom this school year. “The game is so much fun to play, but educationally speaking during STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) testing our students are being asked to solve problems where they have to think at least three, four or five steps ahead,” Zepeda said. “Chess is the perfect game because it mimics that skill set.” Teacher Ashley Osborne was learning chess for the first time, but she said it didn’t take her long to see the benefits of students playing the game. “It’s challenging and exciting,” Osborne said. “There are so many different critical thinking variables. You have to think, ‘If I do this now, my opponent could do that three moves later.’ It’s a lot of fun.” Teacher Mary Stults agrees chess has many educational benefits. “Multi-step processing builds strong problem-solving skills,” Stults said. “It also creates good sportsmanship between students.” Teacher Lauren Lichte agrees with her peers.


Timberwood Park Elementary teachers Amanda Arriola (left) and Summer Gault are playing a game of chess in the campus library. Comal ISD’s 3rd-grade and 7thgrade students will spend time learning chess in the classroom this school year.

“Chess gives kids an opportunity to think outside the box,” Lichte said. “They have to incorporate many different strategies during a game.” Comal ISD Gifted/Talented Coordinator Shelly Crofford said many Comal ISD campuses currently have chess clubs where students play during their free time. She said having even more students playing the game with the district’s new chess initiative is a great thing. “The response we’ve been getting from teachers and students has been nothing but positive,” Crofford said. “Chess enhances your memory skills, your creativity, your concentration, and it teaches planning and foresight. Those are all excellent things for our students to be teaching and our students to be learning.”

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

A Spin Of Spirit

By Amanda Burris and Ben Spicer s the bands perform their elaborate performances out on the football field during halftime, you may notice the girls in the sparkly outfits that can charm and amazing the crowd with their extraordinary ability to twirl. For the High School senior Feature Twirlers Margo Dausin of Reagan, Morgan Leach of Johnson, Michaelah Reynolds of Smithson Valley and Allyson Padron of Madison, this is their last year to continue to amaze crowds at high school football games and judges at competitions while also continuing to create their legacies for the twirlers that will follow in their footsteps. Although from a distance these dazzling girls seem to not even break a sweat as they maneuver batons in various ways, they spend countless hours at practice and lessons each week. “Baton twirling requires a lot of effort and dedication,” Allyson Padron said. “You have to build up your hand-eye coordination and your grace and flexibility. You HAVE to practice in order to get better.” The talented twirlers must practice and perfect their skills so that they can successfully represent their high schools and bands. Because the schools do not have an actual school sponsor or school coach for twirling, the girls, and sometimes their families, must put in a lot of their own time in order to make their program successful.


Many of the girls are also involved in the school colorguard or play an instrument in the band on top of their twirl duties. While they are all very skilled and diverse, they are without doubt, talented performers. “Like a lot of areas in fine arts, there’s performing for a judge and then there is performing for spectators,” explained Margo Dausin. “Each one is so different and each has its own reward…hopefully! When I perform for a judge, I am always focused and constantly perfecting and the reward comes in the form of 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. When I am performing for spectators, I am very engaged with the audience and striving for both mine and their enjoyment.” The twirlers found their passion for the sport through family, friends or by seeing previous twirlers from their school perform. Although each of them has their own story of how they got into the art, they have all developed a passion for twirling and continue to inspire others. By being both an upperclassman and a Feature twirler, they must take on duties such as choreography, scheduling, teaching and mentoring the younger twirlers and more. Because twirling can be both a team and an individual sport, there is never truly an off-season for these girls. “In the fall, the focus in primarily performing at football games and parades,” Michaelah Renolds said. “I will compete, after the season is over, in November in

(l-r) Ally Padron, Margo Dausin, Michaelah Reynolds and Morgan Leach, the 2013-3014 senior feature twirlers.

our first twirling competition. My spring is filled with traveling at least once a month to twirling competitions all over the state of Texas.” Michaelah, as well as the three other twirlers, plan to do a lot of traveling for the various competitions that they will attend both in Texas and out of state. “Twirling can be nerve-wracking when a competition or audition is involved,” Morgan Leach added. “Otherwise, it is exhilarating especially in a rhinestone covered costume.”

All four girls have college set as a goal. Many of them are already anticipating their college tryouts to become a twirler at their preferred university. This final year in high school will no doubt be one that they will cherish for years to come. As they impress others with every performance, competition and audition, they hope to leave behind their legacies with the younger girls they twirl with or the ones that will step up to fill their shoes in years to come.

Rebekah Gonzales Johnson High School 10th Grade

Camryn Shows Smithson Valley High School 9th Grade

Shae Willingham Reagan High School 11th Grade

Rebekah Gonzales, a Johnson High School sophomore, works hard to find time for all her responsibilities. Even as a member of both the colorguard and band, Gonzales still managed to find a way to become an expert twirler. “I feel successful when I learn new tricks and improve my skills,” Gonzales said. “I like to push myself daily and hope that my hard work will speak for itself.” Gonzales has been twirling for 5 years. “I always get a little nervous and very excited before a performance,” Gonzales said. “I enjoy being able to show off all those hours of hard work and training.” Gonzales’s older brother graduated from Reagan, and back when she was a fifth grader she’d go to the high school football games and watch the twirlers. Eventually, Stephanie Lampman, the current Arkansas Twirler and 2011 Reagan High School graduate, became one of her mentors on how to twirl. “She worked with me during practices and was always very encouraging. I looked up to her and wanted

Camryn Shows, a freshman at Smithson Valley High School, remembers the exact moment she wanted to try and be a twirler. “It was when I watched the Smithson Valley twirlers for the first time, I just remember thinking how graceful they looked out on the field and how hard it must be for them to be able to twirl 2 and 3 batons,” Shows said. Shows has been twirling for just 2 years. Despite the short amount of time, Shows has progressed a long way. This past summer Shows competed in the National Baton Twirling Association State Competition in Boerne, and placed first in the 13-15 year-old novice category for basic skills. Shows said learning to twirl takes long hours of practice and lots of hard work. To help do so, Shows has attended twirling camps to improve her skills. “I am going to continue to work hard and do the best that I can,” she said. “I hope to continue twirling throughout my four years in high school, and move up in my twirling division this year.” Shows presently is one of just two twirlers at Smithson

“I know this sounds silly, but one of the reasons I started twirling is because of the costumes… I mean, what girl doesn’t like to sparkle?” That’s what Ronald Reagan High School junior Shae Willingham said, explaining why she became a twirler. Willingham, as a twirler performs at the football games and pep rallies for Reagan. She learns baton routines constantly, and ensures that each of her routines is in step with the band’s music. Willingham has been taking lessons and competing in competitions for twirling for just over two years. She said she does it because of the initial rush she gets, and for the look on the faces of the children that watch her. “I get to see their eyes light up and that huge smile come across their face, which is just priceless to me,” Willingham said. One of Willingham’s goals this year is to place at the University Interscholastic League competition coming up later this year. She hasn’t ever competed before, and is a step up for her.

to be an amazing performer just like her.” Presently Gonzales works with private coach Pat Montgomery of Alamo City Strutters, outside of school to improve her skills. Those skills will come in handy with the big year she has coming up. The Johnson band was selected to march in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California on New Year’s day. “It will be exciting to march in the historic parade with our band,” she said. “I also compete outside of school in NBTA (National Baton Twirling Association) competitions. We have our regional competition in March, and our state competition in June.”

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

Valley. “As a freshman, I feel very fortunate to be a twirler,” she said. “I am really grateful that I have the opportunity to twirl with Michaelah Reynolds, who is a senior. She’s an incredibly talented twirler. I am trying to learn as much as I can from her.” Shows has performed at both San Antonio Spurs and Silver Stars halftime shows, in addition to performing for her school. “It is so much fun to perform for the crowd and be able to twirl while the band plays, it is really exciting,” Shows said. “I love that the twirlers are considered members of the band. We all get to work together as a group. We all work very hard, but we have a lot of fun too.”

“The type of training (to be a twirler) depends on the individual,” she said. “But if you want to be successful in twirling it means that you are going have to love what you do. Train, Take lessons, get advice from peers, and practice, practice, practice.” Prior to every performance, Willingham takes the time to check everything from wind patterns to weather conditions and footing to make sure each and every one of her performances is top notch. “Every time I perform I always push myself to make it better than the last one,” Willingham said. “That way, I can always progress as a twirler.”


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Beauties of America Texas Teen, Paige Dausin, Miss San Antonio Texas Teen Alayah Benavidez and Miss San Antonio Texas, Alexandra Ahmadi lend their support to the MDA “Lock Up” Fundraiser at The Vault in downtown San Antonio.

Special To Welcome Home espite some often held beliefs, beauty pageants are a lot more than just tiaras and glamour. Title holders learn to combine their beauty, brains and time for worthy causes. Paige Dausin on August 3 was crowned Beauties of America Texas Teen. Since then, she has been spending her summer utilizing her new title to bring awareness to causes and charities in and around San Antonio. “Being a pageant title holder is a brand new experience for me,” Dausin said. “I’m still learning where and how I can help the most to make a difference.” Paige spent the first month of her reign


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making appearances and doing fundraising for major organizations alongside the Miss San Antonio Texas Teen, Alayah Benavidez, and Miss San Antonio Texas, Alexandra Ahmadi. “We collected and raised funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s donation, Lock Up. We acted as judges who set the bail – with bail being any donations made by corporations, individuals, etc. It was so much fun!” This summer, Dausin also got to stand shoulder to shoulder with service men and women to help the USO at their largest fundraiser/telethon of the year. “To be able to have fun and help a worthy

organization is very gratifying,” she said. As for what’s next for Paige only time will tell. “I look forward to bringing awareness to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation,” she said. “They have their annual 5k in October so that is something I’d like to pursue, helping them to fundraise. My oldest sister Kayla has been living with Type 1 diabetes since she was 3 so it is something that has impacted my family directly and profoundly.” Welcome Home would like to congratulate Paige and wish her continued success in her efforts in the coming year.

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The Flu: What Is It and How Can You Protect Yourself? By Lee Adams, PA FP Walk-In Clinic (210) 402-0090 s the flu season approaches, we begin to hear stories about the flu and how it can cause us to feel horrible, be hospitalized and even cause death. It’s important to know what the flu is, what to do if you think you have it and how to minimize your risk of contracting this illness. The flu is caused by a virus and is often confused with the common cold, but the flu tends to be more severe. In addition to getting plenty of rest and pushing fluids, many over-the-counter


medications are available to help relieve your symptoms, but there is no cure for the flu. There are prescription antiviral medications that may help to reduce the severity of the symptoms and/or decrease the length of the illness. It’s recommended that these medications be started within the first 48 hours of the illness. It’s best to avoid getting the flu in the first place. Proper and frequent hand washing helps to reduce the transmission rates of flu and, according to the Centers for Disease

One Team, One Tuscany Submitted By Michelle Kaiman uscany Heights Elementary School kicked off the year with another great start. Students met their “coach” for the year during their meet the teacher nights, August 21 and 22. Students visited classrooms, organized their school supplies, and learned all about their new team. Parents attended grade level orientations, learned more about parent teacher association programs, and purchased Tiger spirit items. After a successful first week of school, Tuscany Heights celebrated on September 3 with their second annual Family Fun Night that included the first PTA meeting and the Watch D.O.G.S, Kick Off. Staff and families enjoyed dinner from one of our seven food trucks parked in the back parking lot of campus. From hot dogs to sushi, everyone ate delicious food and stayed cool with snow cones and ice cream. Kids


enjoyed jumping rope, hula hooping and playing with friends while parents learned about the successful Watchdogs program. The school was thrilled to have so many dads and father-figures signed up to be a hero of the hallway at Tuscany Heights this year. On September 4, Tuscany families were again enjoying yummy food at the HEB Primo Picks Premiere at HEB Plus on Evans Road and 281. When families and staff arrived each received a “food passport” and visited six stations to sample tasty HEB products. After completing their passport, the participants received a reusable HEB grocery bag filled with delicious food. HEB donated $1000 to Tuscany for the first 100 customers who completed the event and gave each Tuscany organization or club a $100 gift card. A big thank you goes to HEB for supporting Tuscany Heights and for the 350 Tuscany staff and family members who participated. Tuscany Heights ended the week

Banners To Be On Buses Submitted By Jason Gordon s part of Comal Independent School District’s safety initiative and its continuing partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, you’ll soon be seeing something new on school buses. Comal ISD has agreed to include Comal County Crime Stoppers banners on 30 of its buses, 10 each in the Canyon, Smithson Valley and Canyon Lake feeder patterns. This continues Comal ISD’s partnership with Comal County Crime Stoppers, which began in 2010. The banners will have various Crime Stoppers slogans on them, letting anyone with a tip about a crime know they can call anonymously and receive a cash reward if the information provided leads to an arrest and conviction. The Crime Stoppers tip line is 830-620-TIPS (8477). “This not only encourages our students who ride the bus to be participants in the Crime Stoppers program, but it reminds the community how important the program is and that they can be a part of it too,” Gus Rodriguez, Comal ISD transportation director said. “Comal ISD donated the space for the banners on our buses because we’re always looking for ways to enhance our partnerships with our law enforcement agencies.” Crime Stoppers, which was formed in


1976, works in conjunction with all local law enforcement agencies based off of the tips they receive. In 2010, Comal ISD began its partnership with Crime Stoppers at the high school level. Students were encouraged to report anything they saw that’s against the law or school policy. To date, more than $3,000 has been awarded to students since the program began. “I think the best part of the program is that it’s a big deterrent for anyone thinking about doing the wrong thing at a Comal ISD high school,” Gene Hendon, Comal County Sheriff’s Deputy said. “Money talks. In addition to the rewards we give out, I think the vast majority of students take pride in their school and don’t want to see anyone doing anything that might shed a bad light on their campus.” The banners are 6-feet by 2.5-feet long and should be placed on all 30 buses within two weeks. “These banners will get a lot of exposure,” Rodriguez said. “I’m sure this will help solve and deter crimes, and continue to keep our communities safe and enhance our quality of life, and that’s what Comal ISD is all about. We’re proud to help organizations like Crime Stoppers in any way we can.”

October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

Control and Prevention (CDC), “An annual flu vaccine is the best way you can reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others.” The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (contains killed virus). While some people may experience a reaction to the injection itself or the body’s response while antibodies are being made to protect the body from future infection, people do not get sick from the actual flu virus in the vaccine. The flu vaccine contains three or four strains of the virus that are predicted to be the most problematic for the season. While it’s possible to contract the flu despite getting the vaccine, many of the flu-related complications can be avoided or reduced. The flu vaccine is especially important for those with asthma, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, pregnant women and people

celebrating grandparents on Friday, September 6. Each class incorporated fun and memorable activities for the grandparents – for both those who visited and for those not able to attend. And to top it all off, at the end of September the Drum Café visited the campus to energize and motivate students to work together as a team. The interactive program gave each student a drum and together they made amazing sounds and music. If this start is any indication, Tuscany Heights is gearing up for a fun, enriching, and educational school year.

over 65 years of age who are at high risk of developing pneumonia if they were to catch the flu. People who care for or live with members of the high-risk groups should also receive the vaccine. Flu season can start as early as October and last as late as May so it’s important to get your shot as soon as possible. People allergic to eggs, people who have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine before and people who are battling an illness with a fever should not receive the vaccine. If, you get sick and think you may have the flu, remember to contact your medical provider quickly. Visit FP Walk-In Clinic today at 115 Gallery Circle, Suite 102 (next to Stone Oak MRI) and let PA Adams and the friendly staff help you manage your chronic medical diagnoses or find relief for your acute concern.

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19202 Stone Oak Pkwy., Suite 106 San Antonio, TX 78258

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22610 US Highway 281 North, San Antonio, TX 78258 | 210.481.5688


October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261

What does the new Health Care Act mean for your business? Join us for LUNCH at Knife & Fork Gastropub on Thursday, October 24, 2013. Enjoy some amazing food & hear Ricardo H. Gonzalez, MHA Chief Development Officer & Stephen P. Roberts M.D., Chief Operating Officer of TransitionCare Health talk about post acute continuum and some of what the new health care law may mean for you and your business. They will be ready to answer some of the questions that none of us can get the answers to. S




Stone Oak Business Association

When: Thursday, October 24, 2013 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM Where: Knife & Fork Gastropub 20626 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste. 103 Cost: SOBA Members: $15 Non-Members: $25 Door: $30

To RSVP: 348-8233 E-mail: JOI N T H E CELEBRATION!

Winter Celebration 2013 Featuring AirLIFE Santa

Reserve Your Booth Today! – $350.00 Date: Time: Place:

December 14, 2013 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 1803 E. Sonterra Blvd Legacy Shopping Center (281 N & 1604) Presenting Sponsors:

Each year, thousands of families from across San Antonio attend Stone Oak Winter Celebration Featuring AirLIFE Santa to celebrate the season. There’s no better way to introduce your business to the community. We invite your business to be a part of Stone Oak’s largest and longest running holiday event.

Vendor RSVP: (210)348–8233 • October 2013 • Welcome Home • 78260/78261



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“Leave” it to us to create the fun! Wheel in great moments with an active lifestyle surrounded by friends and wonderful neighbors. Leave the cooking, cleaning, home maintenance and raking the leaves to us! • Exciting social calendar filled with fun • Restaurant style dining with much variety • Transportation with experienced drivers • Golf, tennis, dining and social privileges at The Club at Sonterra • Pets Welcome/Dog Park on-site • Full Service Apartments, Neighborhood of Homes and Assisted Living available

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