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We Wish You All A Happy Holiday Season!

Allen Funeral Home Inc. Celebrating 50 Years of Service to the Wylie Area


The Connection Magazine, Wylie Chamber of Commerce

December 2019/January 2020

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A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication Online Version: www.wyliechamber.org

Please Recycle This Magazine After Reading!

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Methodist Richardson Medical Center is more than a medical center, it’s a place of community and healing for those battling cancer. Our dedication to patient care has led Methodist Richardson to become the first hospital in the nation to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hepatic/Pancreatic/Biliary Cancer, and we have received accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. These symbols of quality reflect our commitment to exceptional and comprehensive patient resources for safe and effective cancer care.

We offer a wide range of services to support our patients through their cancer experiences: • Family and patient resources • Cancer support groups • Genetic testing

• Cancer nurse navigators • American Cancer Society (ACS) volunteers • Palliative and supportive care

Trust. Methodist.

For more information or to find a physician on our medical staff, call 877-637-4297.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Richardson Medical Center, Methodist Health System or any of its affiliated hospitals. Methodist Health System complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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2 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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www.wyliechamber.org • 3

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From Deep In the Heart of Texas and All Across the Country, We Work For YOU, Not the Insurance Company





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Brian & Kelly Tobias, Owners

From our family to yours: Wishing you a joyful Holiday Season & a Happy, Healthy, & Prosperous New Year!

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Cover Photo by Ethan Good

8 Liz and Danny Allen of Allen Funeral Home.

CONNECTION FEATURES 10 Santa Claus 12 The Month


Before Christmas Community Calendar


December 2019/January 2020 • Volume 14 - Issue 6



Christmas Kindness is Spelled P.O.L.I.C.E.

EDUCATION WISD Holiday Performances










A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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HIGHER EDUCATION The Gift of Education HEALTH Don't Get Tangled in Your Tinsel DINING DIVAS Coffee, Cookies, & Fuzzy Socks CHAMBER Welcome New Members MONEY Trends in Charitable Giving www.wyliechamber.org • 5

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It’s the Holiday Season in the Southeast Collin Corridor and we are kicking off the festivities in this issue of the Connection. We know that as of this writing it was a BRRREEZY 75 degrees and we haven’t hit Thanksgiving yet, but this year we decided to start early with sharing the holiday spirit. This issue we kick things off with a look at the history of the Big Man himself – St. Nicholas, AKA Sinterklass, AKA Santa Claus. It’s a fascinating look back at how it all began. You can’t talk about Santa without mentioning presents, and we go there too. Shopping is almost in full swing and we have an inspiring poem to give you some leads on present purchasing in the area. Wylie Chamber President You’ll read about Wylie’s teen P.O.L.I.C.E. club: a big group with a big heart, working to help others. And don’t miss the list of all the Holiday performances in the Wylie ISD going on in December. We also highlight a local WEHS grad who likes spiders and snakes and is studying zoology at Texas A&M thanks to the Collin College Foundation. A little information goes a long way, and our charitable giving article will explain some of the financial benefits available, while our health article provides a bit of safety guidance to help you avoid the ER over the Holidays. The Divas are out on the town again, this time drinking coffee, and share a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that is a real thing and yes, the cookies are really good! Try them before you judge. Our Cover Profile of Success is Allen Funeral Home which is one of the longest existing businesses in Wylie. In fact, January 21, 2020 will mark 50 years the Allen family has owned the funeral home and very few Wylie businesses hold such tenure. Make sure to check the Community Calendar this month as it highlights the many things your family can do right here in your backyard for the holidays. Nothing will get you in the spirit quicker than seeing it in the eyes of others, so get out and enjoy your neighbors. As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of the Connection as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. May your Holiday season be filled with great family, friends and memories. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2020!





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Changing Lives, One Home At A Time

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication 307 N. Ballard Ave. | Wylie, TX 75098 972-442-2804 • info@wyliechamber.org www.wyliechamber.org


Mike Agnew Jan Arrant Cynthia Wiseman Juli Richards Kylie Reising


Angela Tucker Anne Hiney Judy Truesdell Deonna Osborn Ian Halperin Heather Darrow Ethan Good

Ian Halperin Craig Kelly Judy Truesdell Heather Darrow

Donnita Fisher Donnita Fisher Judy Truesdell

For information about advertising in The CONNECTION Magazine please contact the Wylie Chamber at 972-442-2804 or adsales@wyliechamber.org. The “Profile of Success” cover photograph and feature article, as well as any “Professional Profiles” are paid advertisements. All are welcome to advertise, Chamber membership is not required. Submit comments and story ideas to Anne Hiney at theconnection.anne@mac.com.

Call Today For A Free Consultation!

469-759-3899 Toll Free:





Digital edition available online at www.wyliechamber.org The CONNECTION Magazine ©2019, Wylie Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. The CONNECTION is published bimonthly and mailed free of charge to over 45,000 households and businesses with an estimated readership of over 125,000 in the Wylie/Sachse/ Murphy/Lavon/Parker/St. Paul/Lucas/Richardson/Garland area. An additional 1,200 copies are distributed to our advertisers and local city offices. Contents of this magazine may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for content of all advertisements. Information published in The CONNECTION is the opinion of the sourced authors. The Wylie Chamber of Commerce does not necessarily share the editorial opinions expressed in The CONNECTION magazine. Personal decisions regarding health, finance and other matters should be made after consultation with the reader’s professional advisors. Just for fun, find the butterfly! Last issue we hid it on page 23 in the Wylie Parks & Rec ad. Did you find it? NOTE: The first person to correctly locate the butterfly and send an email to magnew@wyliechamber.org wins a The CONNECTION T-shirt! (It's not this one!) Occasionally we make a mistake. Let us know if you find one so we can correct it. We love your feedback - send comments to info@wyliechamber.org. Story ideas are always welcome and appreciated. Thanks for “Connecting” with us! Wylie Chamber of Commerce 307 N. Ballard Ave. • Wylie, TX 75098 972-442-2804 • info@wyliechamber.org www.wyliechamber.org A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Voted Wylie’s BEST Insurance Agency 8 Years in a Row! Cindy Hampton, Cathy Jonson, John Yeager, Chelsea Paredes, Debbie Castillo and Kylie Reising


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www.wylieinsurance.com www.wyliechamber.org • 7

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Houston Fay, Bob Petchulat, Liz & Danny Allen, Jones Fay

Allen Funeral Home Inc.


Family Owned and Operated in Wylie

ucked away in one of the original areas of Wylie, Allen Funeral Home – one of the longest existing businesses in Wylie – continues to serve the community. In January 2020, Jan. 21 to be exact, the Allen family will mark 50 years of owning and operating Allen Funeral Home. “Although the name has changed a time or two, we’re still one of the oldest businesses in Wylie,” owner Danny Allen said. Danny is a seventh generation Wylieite. His wife, Liz, moved to Wylie in 1979 when the couple married. “We’ve been here 50 years and are still family owned and operated,” co-owner Liz Allen said. “We want the community to know we are here and have been here a long time serving families and the community.” Danny’s parents, Reta and W.C. Allen, purchased the funeral home in 1970. The Wylie funeral home had been in operation since the early 1900s – first as Housewright’s, then Fielder and Baker and then Moore Funeral Home. The original funeral home was in downtown Wylie at the corner of Ballard and Marble Streets. The Allens moved to their current location at 508 Masters Ave. in January 1988. When the Allens bought the funeral home in downtown Wylie, there were curtains on the windows facing Ballard Street, Liz said. If the funeral home was getting someone ready for a service, the curtains were closed. “People then knew when someone was at the funeral home. When they changed and got siding, that went

away and people didn’t like it,” Liz said. The Allens responded by installing outside lights. When there was someone being readied for burial, the lights were turned on. When the funeral home moved to its current location, they also installed outside lights. “And when someone is in state,” Liz said. “We flip the lights on.” There are some traditions associated with funerals and memorial services but trends change and Allen Funeral Home can accommodate almost any last wishes. Some new things are welcome. “The website has certainly helped,” Liz said. “Everything is on there.” The Allens post the prices of their services and the services they can provide. “What you see is what you get,” Liz said. And obituaries are also online making it easier for those who live out of town to get information about services and leave comments in the guest book. Most services also include a video of photos of the deceased. Allen Funeral Home provides the service and makes a copy of the DVD for the family as a gift. “The video is uploaded to the website so it can be viewed anywhere,” Liz said. As more people are choosing cremation for their loved ones, some new trends are emerging in this area also. “After cremation some of the ashes can be sent and made into a special ink for tattooing,” Liz said. “Ashes can be made into diamonds and of course you can purchase jewelry to place some of the ashes in.” Friends and family members tend to send plants more than flowers now, the Allens said, and they are holding more services in their chapel. Because of our mobile

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society, people move more often and frequently don’t live near family and some don’t have the church connections of those in previous years. This has also lead to a change in family visitations, as well, the Allens observed. In years past, a family visitation or viewing was held the night before the funeral service. Now, Liz said, many are holding the visitation a few hours prior to the service. Yet while trends may change, the Allens’ commitment to community and helping people through one of the hardest times of life has not. Allen Funeral Home is a locally owned business and treats each family as they would their own. “We live here,” Liz said. “This is our hometown.” The current Allen Funeral Home was built on land that belonged to Danny’s grandparents. The family originally came to Wylie in the 1800s. The Allens have had a hand in shaping the Wylie community. Members of the family have been city marshals, served on the city council, been volunteer fireman and helped start the Wylie Chamber of Commerce. Danny is a Wylie High School Class of 1976 graduate. The Allens’ children – Mindy and Paul – graduated from WHS in 1993 and 1994, respectively. Paul, born with Spinia Bifida, attends a facility in Plano called “My Possibilities.” Mindy earned a master’s degree in 2018 and is a teacher at Wylie ISD’s George Bush Elementary. The family sees the business as much as a calling as a business. “W.C. always wanted to be a funeral director,” Liz said. “He worked nights at Kraft Foods so he could attend mortuary school during the day.” Until 1987, the Allens also ran the city’s ambulance service. Fulltime employees were Reta, W.C. and Susan Allen, their daughter-in-law. Danny and his brother, Larry, worked at the funeral home when they weren’t working their fulltime jobs. Danny joined the staff full time in 1981 when his sisterin-law left to start a family. He got his funeral directors and embalmers license in 1988. Now there are also five employees at the funeral home – Danny and Liz, Jones Fay, his son Houston Fay and office assistant Bob Petchulat. “We trust our people,” Liz said. “We know they will treat people just like we do.” When you call Allen Funeral Home you won’t get an answering service. An Allen, a Fay or Petchulat will answer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Both Fays are also licensed funeral directors and embalmers. The folks at Allen Funeral Home can help make preneed arrangements and the funeral home offers preneed insurance that can be set up for monthly payments lasting up to 10 years with no interest and fully back by the Texas Banking Department. A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Pre-arrangement guarantees that you select the service you want and the prices will be locked in and your family knows your wishes. More information about pre-need insurance is available by visiting the website www.prepaidfunerals.texas.gov. •

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972-442-2234 danny.allen25@verizon.net 508 Masters Ave., Wylie, Texas 75098

www.allenfuneral.com www.wyliechamber.org • 9

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by Deonna Osborn


sk any child about Santa Claus this time of year, and you’re sure to receive an earful. There’s certainly no doubt in any youngster’s mind surrounding his home at the North Pole, his transportation system of flying reindeer, or his staff of hard-working elves. Have you ever stopped to think where Santa was born? Where did it all begin? The original St. Nicholas had quite different beginnings; he was born around 280 A.D. to wealthy parents who raised him as a devout Christian in southwestern Turkey. Nicholas’ parents died when he was young, and he followed the teaching of Jesus, selling his worldly possessions and giving to the poor. He dedicated his life

Photo by Ethan Good

to serving God, and was made Bishop of Myra, a small Roman town in modern-day Turkey, while still a young man. As a fiery defender of Christianity during the Great Persecution of the late third century and early fourth century, the monk became the subject of many legends. Neither fat nor jolly, he was regarded as the protector of prisoners and orphans alike. In one notable tale, he dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the home of an indebted father as a dowry for his daughters, saving the girls from lives of ultimate prostitution. The father reportedly learned Nicholas’ identity, though Nicholas begged to keep it undisclosed. Soon, the legend was born that all good secret gifts came from Nicholas.

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His kindness eventually earned him sainthood. Following his death, he was held to be the patron saint of sailors, children, and unmarried girls. As a saint, he was granted his own feast day on Dec. 6. From approximately 1200 until 1500, St. Nicholas was toasted as a bringer of gifts and an incentive for children to remain on their best behavior. At that time, a tradition became established in which he would visit homes on Christmas Eve, and children would place fruit and nuts around the house to welcome his arrival. After the Protestant Reformation, however, Pope Julius I decided to establish an official celebration for the birth of Jesus Christ. Because the exact date of birth was unknown, the Pope assigned Dec. 25 to commemorate the sacred day. The Pope hoped to use the existing pagan midwestern festival at this time of year to Christianize the celebration. These two dates eventually converged, and Saint Nicholas became associated with the Christian holiday of Christmas.

The first settlers of the New World, Puritans and other Protestant reformers, did not bring with them the traditions of St. Nicholas. There is some mild controversy, but it is largely believed that the Dutch are responsible for his transportation in this part of the world. When Dutch settlers arrived in New Amsterdam (later renamed New York), they carried with them the practice of leaving shoes out for Saint Nicholas to fill with gifts. They also introduced the name, calling the holiday icon Sint Herr Nikolass, later shortened to Sinterklass. The name morphed into Santa Claus over the 17th and 18th centuries, firmly establishing itself in the pop culture vernacular by the early 19th century. The images we currently associate with Santa Claus have dramatically morphed over the years, culminating in large part due to writers and artists. Washington Irving first portrayed a pipe-smoking St. Nicholas in his 1809 book, ”Knickerbocker’s History of New York.” It portrayed the saint flying over homes in a wagon, delivering presA Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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ents to deserving boys and girls and bundles of switches to bad ones. In 1810, artist Alexander Anderson was commissioned to render a drawing of Saint Nick for the New York Historical Society dinner. Though still depicting religious characteristics, he is seen depositing gifts in children’s stockings hung by the fire to dry. In 1822, poet Clement Moore penned “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” In this piece, Moore describes the saint as a small man with a sleigh driven by eight tiny reindeer who fly him from house to house in order to fill stockings, the first known appearance of the Santa Claus figure with which most Americans are familiar. It is believed the author chose reindeer, as they are much sturdier than North American deer and adapted to colder climates. In addition, the people of northern Scandinavia and Finland frequently used reindeer as a means by which to pull the type of sleigh similar to the one described in Moore’s poem. Moore originally wrote the poem for the enjoyment of his own family, but it was published anonymously a year later. That same poem was later renamed “The Night Before Christmas.” Santa’s image was rounded out by a 19th-century artist named Thomas Nast, who did a series of drawings for ”Harpers Weekly.” Nast drew the image as a round jolly man with a workshop for toys, holding a nice and naughty list. The 10th-century Santa was frequently shown wearing various colors of purple, green, and blue, in addition to red. Coca-Cola has often been credited with solidifying his red and white colors with its popular advertisements, beginning in the 1940s. (It should be noted, however, that St. Nicholas wore his Bishop’s red robes long before the influence of the soft drink.) Around that same time, newspapers began centering holiday advertisements specifically around the image of Santa Claus. In 1941, children flocked to the first reported lifesized model of the Christmas icon. St. Nicholas, Sinterklass, and Santa Claus – these are all names for the jolly old guy who has come to be known and loved by those around the world. Slight differences of the legend exist, but nearly everyone agrees that he travels through the sky on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, completing the journey on Christmas Eve night. It is almost universally accepted he bears gifts for the good girls and boys. The real St. Nicholas was a man who protected the weak and stood up for those unable to defend themselves. He was and is an icon of arguably the most celebrated holiday in America. Santa Claus remains a symbol of joy, childhood innocence, and the spirit of giving. • www.wyliechamber.org • 11

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The Month before

Christmas Poem by Donnita Fisher

‘Twas just before Christmas and I must say that I Was getting quite panicked with gifts left to buy! There were so many presents left on my list, I was certain there would be people I missed! Santa drawn by Emily Gilchrist

One day I sat stewing , lamenting my plight When out on my front porch there came such a sight! It was Santa himself, all decked out in red. And I was surprised by the next thing he said. “There might not be goodies for all kids this year No presents on Christmas is my biggest fear The elves just cannot keep up with demand, Ol’ Santa, here, needs a quick helping hand I’ve heard that Wylie can fulfill my request. Can you help Santa out on this shopping quest?”

For Dad from Tractor Supply

Georgia Waterproof Romeo Boot – $114.99

“Oh thank you, Dear Santa, I will and I can! I’d love to help you. I am your biggest fan! Just tell me the gifts you would like me to find. You want popular things or one of a kind?” Santa just smiled and said, “Well, that’s up to you. And go ahead and buy yourself a thing or two.” With my list and Santa’s I headed to town, Don’t worry, St. Nicholas, I won’t let you down!

For MOM Dear Sorella Boutique

Mazy’s Curvy Puff Sleeve Sweater – $44

“To Wylie” I cried as I made a mad dash Armed with my lists but not loads of cash So Tractor Supply was the first of my stops I knew there I could find a gift for dear Pops There were boots galore, so I got Dad a pair Function and fashion, he surely would wear! And you know they have lighted Christmas décor My yard will have cows, pigs, chickens and more!

LIGHTED decor from Tractor Supply

Prices starting at $59.99

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The next stop was easy, Dear Sorella Boutique. My mom needs some sweaters and these are so chic. continued~

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General Dentistry for Adults and Children

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Country Club Rd.

Parker Rd.


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www.wyliechamber.org • 13

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Wylie Flower & Gift is downtown as well. I’m sending some flowers to dear old Aunt Nell.

for aunt from Wylie Flower & Gift Holly Jolly Christmas arrangement – $65

At Purple Dot Fashion, the earrings are rad, My nieces will love them, and that makes me glad. The Old Back Porch sits across Ballard Street Granny loves candles and Papaw loves sweets My children’s teachers are on this list, too Notecards from Wylie Printing will do.

for nieces from Purple Dot Fashions Earrings – $9.95 to $32 each

Woodbridge Commons is my next shopping stop Gifts for pets, friends, boss and an ornament swap. For Lucky at PetSmart I find a squeak toy And a basket of treats; he’s such a good boy!

for grandparents from

My friends get mist from Bath & Body Works Buy three get three – that’s such a great perk

The Ole Back Porch Apple Crisp Candle – $24.99 Praline Pecans – $5.99

My boss needs a new designer handbag TJ Maxx and Ross both carry that swag.

for PETS from PetSmart

Hedgehog plush squeak toy – $12.99 Milk Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Snacks – $11.39

for TEACHERs from Wylie Printing

Notecards – Assorted variety – $2.59

For my husband I’m buying something for us –– A B&B Gift Card, no muss and no fuss. My daughter really has all that she needs, I’m giving a gift to help her succeed.


from Bath & Body Works Body Mist – $14.50 each Buy three, get three free

She’ll get an art class from Creative Arts Guild When she opens this gift, I am sure she’ll be thrilled!


for BOSS from TJ Maxx/Ross

from Creative Arts Guild of Wylie Drawing Class – four weeks – $55

Valentina Leather Cross Body Bag – $59.99 Steve Madden BDelta Satchel – $49.99

for SON

for SPOUSE from B&B Theatres Gift card – $75

14 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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from Massage Bilss & Cryo Massage prices vary


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D EBORAH L. MATERN, PC Litigator • Negotiator • Counselor at Law • Family Law Divorce • Child Support • Custody • Business Law My first commitment to anyone seeking my expertise is that I will listen to you. I will focus on your goal and then, together, we will prepare a strategy to work toward achieving your goals. My second commitment is that I will not shy away from the obstacles that may stand in the way of your goals. I will give you the entire picture so that you are fully informed and able to make the most important decisions of your life. My approach reduces your costs while preserving quality. I provide my clients effective, experienced, and efficient legal service. There are many choices when hiring an attorney. Experience is essential. Ask around. Get recommendations. Then call me.


Deborah L. Matern, Attorney

dmatern@WylieAttorney.com 405 S. Birmingham St. • Wylie, TX 75098

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My son has a job that is hard and a mess. Massage Bliss & Cryo will help him de-stress. I’ve only got grandkids left on my list. And I still have Santa left to assist. Tuesday Morning has toys for all ages, And children of all development stages. Now to Hobby Lobby for crafting kits. Kids love to create using baubles and bits. For toys, it’s Target – the selection is good From babies to teens, the entire childhood. What is Christmas without a new ornament? To Sachse and Amy’s Hallmark, I went.

for GRANDKIDS from Tuesday Morning & Hobby Lobby

American Girl Mega Construx Gymnastic – $14.99 Fisher Price Crawl around Croc – $14.99 Steffi Love doll & accessories – $12.99 Toy Story 4 Plush Dolls – $12.99 Star Wars Light Sabers – $9.99 Crayola Building Blocks – $9.99 Fisher Price Tea for Two – $14.99 Baby’s First Hug & Luv – $9.99 New Born Baby – $4.99 Troll Figure – $2.99 Belle Doll – $5.99 Glitterific Craft Kit – $17.99

Kids love Mickey, Nemo and Toy Story 4, Tink, Princesses, Pooh Bear, Moana and more! There’s Lion King, Frosty, Star Trek, Charlie Brown, The Wizard, Kermit, Harry Potter, a clown! I’ve got candy from Walgreen’s and CVS. I’m shipping my stuff via Sachse UPS.

ORNAMENTS from Amy’s Hallmark Prices range from $8.99 to $32.99

For grandkids from Target

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck – $69.99 Spider Man Web Shots Spiderbot NERF Powered Blaster Toy – $16.99 Fisher-Price Linkimals Smooth Moves Sloth – $29.99 Lego Star Wars Classic Death Star Escape – $23.99 Fisher-Price Code and Learn Kinderbot – $59.99 VTech Myla the Magical Unicorn – $59.99 Crayola Ultimate Light Board – $24.99 LOL Glitter Globe – $10.99 A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Then Santa called me with one more small task “Can you fill some stockings or too much to ask?” Don’t worry, Kris Kringle, I know where to go For stocking stuff, Dollar Tree and Five Below! Wylie, Sachse and Murphy had proven their worth -The best places to work, live, play and shop on Earth. • www.wyliechamber.org • 17

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Thank You! We want to thank all of you for an amazing year! We have accomplished some wonderful goals in 2019 that wouldn’t have been possible without people like you, trusting us with their real estate needs! If we can do anything to help you now or in the future, please call any one of these ladies with your questions…they are moms, they are wives, they are volunteers, they are neighbors, they are hardworking, focused professionals, they are entrepreneurs, they are team players and people that I look forward to seeing every day. As their broker, I am so very proud of each of them and can’t wait to see what we do in 2020! Call us anytime and we wish you the happiest of holidays!

Brenda Byboth Susan Edmonds 972-742-9098




Angie McBride

Cherie Meyer



Erica Guzman

Sue Lacy







Jeanie Marten 972-588-8363 • Jeanie@MartenRE.com 6406 Hwy. 78, Suite 212 • Sachse, TX 75048

www.MartenRE.com EQUAL HOUSING


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Home for the


Holiday Potpourri 1 Sliced Orange 2 Cinnamon Sticks /4 tsp. Ground Cloves 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg 1 cup Fresh Cranberries


Place ingredients in a slow cooker and cover with water. Simmer on low and enjoy the scents of the season !

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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www.wyliechamber.org • 19

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20 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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Nov. 30: In-Sync Exotics - Fowl Fling – Bring your family to come celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with the big cats. Every year we like to make sure the big cats get their own Thanksgiving feasts, and you're invited to the festivities. Gates open at 11, cats get Thanksgiving birds from 1 - 3 p.m. Location: 3430 Skyview Dr., Wylie. Tickets: Suggested donation of $12 Adults, $8 for Kids (4-12) and Senior Citizens. Nov. 28 - Dec. 31: Prairie Lights – Prairie Lights is the premier holiday light park in Texas. Upon arriving at the entrance, you will be dazzled with 4 million lights set along 2 miles of path. Hundreds of all-new displays in shapes of all kinds line and arch over the roads. Half way through the drive get out of your car for a stop at Holiday Village where you will find food, gifts, Santa, a brand-new indoor Holiday Show, and the Holiday Magic Lighted Walk-Through Forest. Once back in your vehicle, the second half of the drive ends with the very animated light tunnel – the perfect finale to a night you will never forget! Location: Lynn Creek Park, 5610 Lake Ridge Pkwy., Grand Prairie. Tickets & Info: prairielights.org Nov. 28 - Jan. 5: Gift of Lights at Texas Motor Speedway is a 2 mile light park with over 500 amazing light displays, benefiting local charities in North Texas. Ice skating, pictures with Santa, train rides, and refreshments are available. Location: 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth. Tickets & Info: giftoflightstexas.com


Dec. 1: FBC Wylie Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting – 6 p.m. Join us in Downtown Wylie for our annual Christmas Parade, followed by Tree Lighting Ceremony with “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” read by Mayor Eric Hogue in Olde City Park. We will have bounce houses, slides, and obstacle course provided by FBC Wylie. There will be Face painting and an opportunity to help paint the community canvas. Location: Ballard Ave., Downtown Wylie. Info: wylietexas.gov/ living/events/arts_festival_parade_and_tree_lighting.php Dec. 4: Sachse Christmas Extravaganza – 6 p.m. Parade Starts. 7 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting. 7 - 8:30 p.m. Santa Visits and more! Join us for the annual Christmas Extravaganza in the City of Sachse. We'll kick things off with a parade of lights down Miles Road that will end at the City Complex where the fun continues with Santa visits, a petting zoo, train rides and a Winter Wonderland you won’t want to miss. Location: 3815 Sachse Rd. Sachse Info: www.cityofsachse. com/384/Sachse-Christmas-Extravaganza Dec. 5: Murphy's 11th Annual Christmas in the Park – 5:30 - 8 p.m. Join us for a sidewalk parade and tree lighting. Festivities include kid crafts and games, food and craft vendors, holiday performances, and marshmallow roasting. Please bring a new unwrapped toy for the annual toy drive benefitting the Collin County Advocacy Center. Location: Murphy Municipal Complex, 206 N. Murphy Rd., Murphy. Info: www.murphytx.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=1274 Dec. 6: P.O.L.I.C.E Club Parents’ Night Out – 6 - 10 p.m. For parents with kids kindergarten through 6th grade. We will have carnival games, inflatables, snacks, and movie. Location: Cooper Junior High, 101 Hensley Ln., Wylie. Cost: $12 plus unwrapped toy. These proceeds go to buy Christmas gifts for local kids in need. Info: wylietexas.gov/community2/youth_programs/police_club.php Dec. 6: Dickens in Downtown Plano – 5 - 9:30 p.m. Kick off the season with Plano's holiday tradition. We're bringing back all the favorites for this annual celebration, including free s'mores, a real snow slide, and ice wars, and adding a Victorian twist, complete with Scrooge, Victorian music and entertainment and free photos with a Victorian Santa. We'll also have carolers from Plano Independent School District, a trimmed tree trail, multiple food options and more than 50 artists in the Vendor Village. And don't miss the tree lighting at 7 p.m! Location: Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th St., Plano. Info: www. facebook.com/events/886300661756943/ A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Dec. 6, 7, 13 & 14: Wylie Acting Group's Best Christmas Pageant Ever – The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world – so when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. There’s not supposed to be fighting or cigar-smoking in Bethlehem, and while these kids have never even heard the Christmas story, they definitely have rewrites! Soon everyone from the terrified pint-sized shepherds to the furious church ladies is calling for first-time director Grace to fire the Herdmans. But it’s up to Grace and the reverend to help their community see the Christmas story and the Herdman kids through new eyes in this buoyant musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic. Silent night? Not a chance. But sometimes a little joyful noise is just right for Christmas. Location: 205 Industrial Ct., #200b, Wylie. Tickets & Info: www.wylieactinggroup.org Dec. 6 & 7: 14th Annual Christmas at Coventry Reserve – Friday from 5 - 9 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Come on out and enjoy our hospitality with refreshments, entertainment, and demonstrations! The purchase of our handcrafted pottery and Christmas Ornaments help fund our nonprofit program. Coventry is a day program providing life enrichment for adults with special needs. Location: 2004 Parker Rd., St. Paul. Info: coventryreserve.org Dec. 7: Wylie Arts Festival – 9 - 4 p.m. Shop for fine art and handmade crafts; listen to the sounds of the season; and enjoy festive foods! We have more than 140 Art & Craft Vendors perfect for that Christmas list for your friends and loved ones. Come stroll through the aisles of wonderful unique goodies from handmade fine art, to jewelry, home decor, and clothing. Location: FBC Wylie Event Center, 200 N. Ballard Ave., Wylie. Cost: Free. Info: wylietexas.gov/living/events/ arts_festival_parade_and_tree_lighting.php Dec. 7: Santa’s Furry Helpers – 12:30 - 1 p.m. Dog-friendly treats, pet photos with Santa, digital album, keepsake paw print ornament. Dogs must be on a leash. Location: Wylie Rec Center Meeting Room, 300 Country Club Rd., Bldg. 200, Wylie. Registration required, two dog maximum. Cost: $15 Info: apm.activecommunities.com/wylie/ Activity_Search/santa-s-furry-helpers-fall-win-19-12-07/9754 Dec. 7: Wylie United Methodist Church Live Nativity – 6:30 - 7 p.m. See the shepherds and wise men and the live sheep and llamas travel to see the baby Jesus. See Mary and Joseph as they experience the wonder of their baby – God’s Son. Light refreshments are served afterwards in the foyer. Location: Wylie UMC, 1401 Country Club Rd., Wylie. Info: wylieumc.org Dec. 7: FUMC Plano Journey to Bethlehem: Drive-thru Living Nativity – 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Because of the overwhelming response of last year's event, we have made several changes to our Journey to Bethlehem drive-thru living nativity. We will welcome the first 500 cars to experience the story of Jesus' birth with live animals, actors and beautiful music. Plano police will be present to help handle the traffic and prevent line-cutting. One night only. Location: 3160 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano. Cost: Free Info: fumcplano.org Dec. 7-8, 13-15, 20-22: Santa's Village – Richardson's tiny town of 16 holiday dwellings on the north side of City Hall is a holiday tradition for families from Richardson and beyond. Each colorful building offers children a fun activity and even a visit with Santa Claus! Attendees can also enjoy live performances, holiday photo ops and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or a snack. Free event. Location: 411 W. Arapaho Rd., Richardson. Info: www.cor.net/departments/ parks-recreation/community-events/santa-s-village Dec. 8: Free Christmas Concert performed by the Wylie Community Band – 2 p.m. at the Wylie High School Auditorium. Join us for a wonderful time with your favorite Christmas music. Free refreshments to follow. Location: Wylie HS, 2550 E. FM 544, Wylie. Info: wyliecb.org Dec. 13 & 14: Holidays at the Heard Museum – 6:30 - 9 p.m. Let the museum bring the holiday season to life in nature with lights and holiday decor that covers a lovely half-mile trail. You and your family will be enchanted by this nighttime hike in the woods. We will have local musicians Anthony & Marina on the 13th and La Pompe continued ~ www.wyliechamber.org


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on the 14th playing under the stars. Children and the young at heart will enjoy the opportunity to take photos with Father Christmas and Mother Nature. Hot beverages and treats will be available for purchase. Location: 1 Nature Place, McKinney. Cost: adults & seniors $9, kids 3-12 $6. Contact: 972-562-5566 Info: heardmuseum.org/holidays Dec. 14: Christmas Light Boat Parade – 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. View the boats from Rockwall Harbor Docks at 7 p.m., from Chandlers Landing at 7:30 p.m., 2nd viewing from Rockwall Harbor Docks at 8 p.m. Decorate your boat and join us at Sapphire Bay Marina. Info: www. facebook.com/events/760658244362305/ Dec. 15: FUMC Plano Christmas Pops Concert – 6 p.m. We invite our entire community to this free community concert of festive Christmas favorites, featuring performances by our outstanding choirs, orchestra, and soloists! Location: 3160 E. Spring Creek Pkwy. Plano. Info: fumcplano.org

Save the Date!

Jan. 25: Michael J. Felix Community Center Grand Opening Come and join us for the Grand Opening of our Sachse Michael J. Felix Community Center. Stay Tuned to our website for more details in the coming months. Info: cityofsachse.com

Smith Public Library:

300 Country Club Rd., Bldg. 300, Wylie – 972-516-6250

Dec. 3: Civic Engagement – 6 - 7 p.m. Meet with representatives from the city departments that help build your community. Learn about these departments and how they work together to make Wylie a great place to live. No registration required. Library, Parks & Recreation, Animal Services, Fire Rescue, Police and Municipal Courts. Dec. 5: Wayfinders@SPL Movie Night: Elf – 6 p.m. movie starts. Bring your own snacks. Ages 16 & Up. Dec. 11 - 13: Holiday Music by Wylie School Choirs – 10:30 a.m. Wylie ISD Choirs fill the library with joyful songs in the mornings. Dec. 12: Winter Organizing – 6:30 p.m. It’s not too late to organize for the holidays! Sandy Jones of Someday Organizing shares tips to save your sanity this year and to plan ahead to take the stress out of future holiday prep. Ages: 18 & Up. Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Preschool Party – 11:25 a.m. Preschoolage kids invited for treats, crafts, stories. Jan. 2 - 31: Bluebonnet Award Voting – It’s time to vote for your favorite book on the Texas Bluebonnet List! All votes from third through sixth graders will be submitted to the Texas Library Association to be counted towards the official Bluebonnet Award tally. In order to vote, you must have read at least five books on the list. Everyone is invited to vote just once at the Children’s Desk.

Wylie Senior Rec. Center: 800 Thomas St #100, Wylie – 972-516-6340

Dec. 2 & 16, Jan. 6 & 20: Good Yarns - Intermediate – 1 - 2 p.m. Cost: Free Dec. 5 & 12: Ribbon Remodel – 9 - 10 a.m. Cost: $5 Dec. 9 & 23, Jan. 13 & 27: Good Yarns - Beginner – 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. & 2 - 3 p.m. Cost: Free Dec. 10, Jan. 14 & 28: The Reelers – 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost: Free Dec. 12: Paint Your Pet – 9:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Cost: $45 Jan. 4-25 & Jan. 9-30: Balance & Strength (Saturdays) – 9:15 - 10 a.m. Cost: $20 each session Jan. 16: Texas First Ladies Costume Collection – 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost: $9 • 22




www.wyliechamber.org | 972-442-2804

Monthly Luncheon: 4th Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. Check the chamber website for details on location. Make reservations at www.wyliechamber.org. December: No luncheon this month. Jan. 28: Networking Luncheon - Check website for details.

Every Wednesday Business Card Exchange: Network and promote your business from 8 - 9 a.m. at the Smith Public Library, 300 Country Club Rd., #300, Wylie. Chamber members and nonmembers welcome. $1 donation requested.


www.sachsechamber.com | 972-496-1212

Monthly Luncheon: 2nd Tuesday of the month, 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. at Woodbridge Golf Club, 7400 Country Club Dr., Wylie. Register and pay at www.sachsechamber.com. $15 Chamber Members with RSVP/$20 Non-Members and walk-ins. Dec. 10: Networking Luncheon - Check website for details. Jan. 14: Networking Luncheon - Check website for details. Every Tuesday Business Card Exchange: Meet at North Pointe Church of Christ, 7030 Hwy. 78, in Sachse, from 8 - 9 a.m. Everyone welcome, Free.


murphychamber.org | 972-805-3749

Monthly Luncheon: 3rd Tuesday of the month, 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. at the Murphy Road Baptist Church, 411 S. Murphy Rd., Murphy. Go to www.murphychamber.org for info or to prepay or call 972-805-3749 for reservations. Dec. 17: Networking Luncheon - Sponsored by Eye Center of Murphy, Holiday Music by Seth Artistic Enterprises; This program will be catered by Mogio’s Gourmet Pizza. Jan. 24: Black & White Annual Awards Gala – Title sponsor is Methodist Richardson Medical Center. Additional sponsorships for this event are available. Stay tuned for details. Mark your calendars and don’t miss this fun event! Every Thursday Business Card Exchange: Join the Murphy Chamber of Commerce for a networking Business Card Exchange from 8 - 9 a.m. at the Murphy Activity Center, 201 N. Murphy Rd. Open to members and non-members - suggested $1 donation.

Submit Your Event to the Calendar! To submit a community event to the February/March 2020 calendar send an e-mail to theconnection.anne@ mac.com no later than Jan. 15. Please include contact name, date(s), time(s), location, a publishable phone number, e-mail and/or web site for information. Public events welcome (no “members only” events) as space permits. THANKS!

CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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www.wyliechamber.org • 23

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Christmas Kindness is Spelled P.O.L.I.C.E. By Judy Truesdell

Last year's club members show some of the toys and other gifts they gathered after last year's Parents' Night Out.


n Friday night, Dec. 6, instead of going to a movie, watching TV, or playing video games, members of Wylie’s teen P.O.L.I.C.E. Club will be wrangling anywhere from 100 to 120 kindergarten through sixth graders in the Cooper Junior High gym, raising funds that will be used to provide a little Christmas to local families needing some backup. “P.O.L.I.C.E.” is an acronym for Practice of Leadership, Integrity, and Character Education, and the club is made up of kids Peyton Jones and Madison Rodriquez shop for Riley Thompson and Jeh'la Knighten hit the from both high schools. The club, started at clothing items on local kids' wish lists. toy aisles to pick the perfect toys for underthe beginning of the 2013-’14 school year privileged kids. by Wylie Police Officer Michael Stewart, school resource officer at Cooper Junior High, provides Ballard, National Night Out, Wylie Championship Rodeo, high school students exposure to law enforcement as Special Olympics activities, and others. But at this time they investigate potential career paths, but it also gives of year, they’re busy planning their annual Parents’ Night them training and experience as community contribuOut and a special Christmas party for Wylie kids. tors and servant leaders. Officer Mike Hashimoto, SRO at This giving program is in its seventh year; here’s how Burnett Junior High, is the other Wylie PD sponsor. it works. Officer Stewart and Officer Hashimoto are in The P.O.L.I.C.E. Club began with 17 kids … and touch with Wylie ISD counselors for help identifying kids increased to 39 the second year … to 64 in 2017 … to the who may have moved into the district too late to regiscurrent membership of 120 kids who take part in serviceoriented activities throughout the year, including Boo on ter for its Wylie Way gift-giving program or whose fami-

24 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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“This is a very special time for me, because I am able lies have had recent challenges. “One family’s house had to give back and help the children who are going through just burned down the week before,” Officer Stewart said hard times and put some holiday spirit back into their of a previous year. “They truly had nothing.” About 15 Christmas,” Brooklyn said. students who need additional help are adopted by the P.O.L.I.C.E. Club and asked to provide a wish list. Stewart After all the gifts are purchased and sorted, the said most of the requests are for basic needs like clothP.O.L.I.C.E. Club holds a big Christmas party at Cooper for ing, and they have to call the parents to ask for toy sugtheir adopted kids. This year’s is slated for Dec. 14 from gestions or other fun ideas. 10 a.m. to noon. While the youngsters are busy watching a movie or In early December, the making holiday crafts, the parents P.O.L.I.C.E. Club holds its Parents’ are taken aside and provided the Night Out fundraiser in the gifts for their children. Cooper gym. This year’s event is Dec. 6. Parents donate $12 per “We tell them they can say student and a new, unwrapped whatever they want to about toy, and club members supervise where the gifts came from,” said and entertain the younger kids Officer Stewart. “It can be Santa from 6 to 10 p.m. with games, Claus, their parents, or us … it is crafts, a movie, and snacks. completely up to the parents.” Parents can sneak in a little Both of the girls say the club has Christmas shopping or just enjoy enriched their lives. “P.O.L.I.C.E. a night out, knowing their kids Club is a great club to have at are having a great time with the our school,” Alexis said. “It’s teens. great for building leadership “Parents’ Night Out is a and setting a foundation for little hectic, but at the end of hard work.” She added that the night, it’s worth it,” said some of her friends surprised Alexis Stroud, Wylie High her by joining, and she has School junior and lieutenant been happy to watch them of the club. “We have little become even better citizens booths set up with carnivaland harder workers. like games for the kids to Brooklyn said the club play, and in the big gym, we plays an important role in her have bounce houses for the life as well. kids to play on as well.” “The P.O.L.I.C.E. Club is one The P.O.L.I.C.E. Club is of the most important things assisted by the Wylie Citizens to me and has taught me to Police Academy Alumni be an overall better person. Association, whose adult memThanks to Officer Stewart for getbers help by monitoring the doors, ting this club started. He has really freeing up the teens to work the changed lives with this club and I carnival games and have fun with hope to keep it going.” the little kids. As for Parents’ Night Out and After Parents’ Night Out has the adopted Christmas kids, Alexis come and gone, club members said the project embodies the take the funds they’ve collected, spirit of the holiday. “I overheard round up the wish lists, and hit some of the parents talking to the shopping trail to supplement Officer Stewart. They were thankthe donated items. “After Parents’ ing him for giving their children a Night Out, we gather all the toys Kids in kindergarten through 12th grade romp in the Cooper better Christmas. It’s an amazing that were donated and divide High gym during last year's Parents' Night Out. feeling to know you’re doing that them among the children we’ve for someone.” adopted,” said Wylie High senior Brooklyn Trout, who has For more information about the event or the club, been captain of the club for the past two years. or to register a child for Parents’ Night Out, visit “The holiday shopping experience is amazing,” Alexis WylieTexas.gov or email Officer Stewart at michael. said. “We go and shop for specific toys that were on the stewart@wylieisd.net. • child’s Christmas list. We’re only given a $200 limit, but Photos courtesy P.O.L.I.C.E. Club we’re able to hit the most important gifts on the list.” 26 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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Winter Performances 2019-20














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W W W . W Y L I E I S D . N E T / F I N E A R T S D A T E S 28 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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Higher Education

The Gift of Education By Heather Darrow

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Photo by Nick Young, Collin College photographer.


s a third grader, Wylie East High School graduate Cameron Holmes was transported to another world, a land full of amazing animals like 8-foot Komodo dragons, 50-foot humpback whales, and cheetahs who zoomed along at 70 miles an hour. Holmes sat glued in front of the television screen as creatures from around the world roamed the land and sea, appearing in their natural habitats through the lens of shows on “Animal Planet.” “I knew I wanted to work with animals, but I didn’t know what that entailed at the time,” Cameron said. “Today, one of my main goals is to become a zoologist and make a real contribution to society. I want to help get antivenom for snakes that we do not have antivenom for. I want to help people in India. They have more than 40,000 deaths from snake bites alone annually.” Holmes plans to enroll in the zoology program at Texas A&M University, but finding a way to afford that dream is a challenge. He lives at home with his mother, attends college full time, and works full time at night to help pay bills. He also maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society. “I was really excited when I got the email stating that I was awarded a scholarship,” Holmes said. “I have so many bills I have to pay, like food and car payments. As much as possible I don’t want to be in debt. The scholarship was a blessing,” he said. Holmes was one of the fortunate scholarship recipients, but there are still many students at the college who are in need of financial assistance, according to Lisa Vasquez, Collin College vice president of advancement. The Collin College Foundation awarded 556 scholarships for a total of more than $730,000 this fall, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Lisa. More than 27,000 Collin students applied for financial aid or scholarships because they didn’t have enough money for college. “When you consider that enrollment at the college topped 35,000 in fall 2019 alone, the gap is startling,” she said. “Collin College may have the lowest tuition in the

Wylie East graduate Cameron Holmes is a Collin College scholarship recipient.

state, but it’s also the place for students who need financial help the most.” Cameron was moved that a person he had never met would help him achieve his dreams. “It’s on a different level for someone not to know me but to believe in me,” he said. “That really makes me feel proud.” Cameron encourages students to apply for scholarships and said it was an honor to thank his donor. “This person has taken away all my worry and allowed me to truly pursue academic success,” he said. “Scholarships make a difference in people’s lives, and there are no words to truly express the value of that help to those in need.” Scholarship applications for Collin College can be submitted Jan. 15 - March 31, 2020. To apply, visit www.collin.edu/foundation/students/index.html. If you are interested in providing scholarships, visit www.collin.edu/foundation/give/index.html or call 972-599-3145. For more information about Collin College, visit www. collin.edu. • www.wyliechamber.org • 29

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Don’t Get Tangled In Your Tinsel A guide to staying safe during the winter season


Provided by Methodist Richardson Medical Center

h, the holidays! It’s the most wonderful time of the year — when everything goes as planned. But as it turns out, ’tis the season for a major uptick in emergency department visits. With that in mind, Edgar Araiza, MD, an orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Health System, offers a few tips for staying safe during the winter months.

Hang that stocking with care Decking the halls typically marks the onset of the holiday season — and those increased trips to the ER. “You see a lot of injuries from falls from ladders,” says Dr. Araiza, who notes that dangerous falls can occur from heights as low as a few feet. “Although it doesn’t seem that high, just 5 feet is enough to seriously impact your leg and ankle.” Accidents can happen, even when you think you’re being careful. Patients often assume the ladders that they’re climbing are secure and stable but then find themselves falling. “Play it safe by always using a spotter, even when climbing to low heights,” Dr. Araiza says.

Leave the ice skating for the roller rink As winter wears on, icy patches begin to form not only on roads, but also on walkways and in parking lots. Chances are those cute boots or fun holiday dress shoes are no match for the ice. Dr. Araiza recounts the typical patient scenario: “They were walking outside and realized that there was ice on the ground or that their footwear didn’t hold them. Next thing you know, they’re down on the ground with terrible ankle or wrist injuries.” Especially at night, park in well-lit areas, not only for personal safety reasons, but so you can spot puddles that may have frozen over.

Sparkle wisely Come New Year’s Eve, as the final countdown to 2020 rings out, it’s tempting to light a few sparklers or other fireworks, but first consider the risk. As Instagram-able as those sparkly party pics are, fireworks come with varying degrees of danger. So find holiday sparkle in a fizzy punch or sequined gown, and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Caution as you travel over the river and through the woods Once the festivities start to wind down, be careful on that drive home from grandma’s house. Around the holidays, there’s a spike in blunt force trauma injuries from drunken driving accidents. The innocent victims of these accidents often find themselves in a wrong-way, head-on collision. “They don’t even expect that someone’s going to be coming at them in their lane,” Dr. Araiza says. Dr. Araiza also sees injuries — and fatalities — resulting from people stopping and getting out of their cars to help others on the side of the road or in an accident. Because drivers in other lanes of traffic have limited visibility, especially in the dark, they end up accidentally hitting these good Samaritans. “I plead with people to stay in their cars and call 911 instead,” Dr. Araiza says. “This is the best way to make sure stranded motorists get help while you stay safe.” All in all, the holiday season is meant to be celebrated with the people you love. Keep yourself and others safe so you can enjoy the season together at home — not in the Emergency Room. Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.

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620 N Hwy 78, Ste 615 Wylie, TX 75098

(469) 459-1701

• • • • • •

Murphy Office

158 W FM 544, Ste 134 Murphy, TX 75094

(972) 881-8844

*With paid tax preparation. Valid at participating locations. Cannot be combined with other offers or used toward past services. One coupon per customer and per return. Other exclusions may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Valid 12/26/2019-2/16/2020.


Community & Business Guide City Maps & Phone Books The CONNECTION Magazine Business Networking Community Events Visitor Center


307 N. Ballard Ave., Wylie, TX 75098


32 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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Coffee, Cookies, & Fuzzy Socks...Oh My! By Debra Mandala


ou never know when a great idea will strike, and this one came together in an Uber on the way back from a fun friends’ evening out. Anne and I were tossing ideas back and forth, and a Divas’ cookie and fuzzy sock exchange was decided on for our November Divas’ outing! We were a bit discombobulated; 5:30 turned into 6 or so, but we were able to get quite a few of us together for a night out at Conversations Coffee Bar in downtown Wylie. Heather, Judy, Angela, Tina, Anne and myself and a special guest appearance by Betty Black. I whipped up my seasonal favorites – pumpkin chocolate chip cookies; Anne made the most amazing Ghirardelli chocolate salted caramel yummies; Angela brought scrumptious hot cocoa cookies; Tina brought pumpkin ginger snaps, specially made by K-Rogèr; Heather made pizzelles, a family tradition started by her grandmother, the Italian matriarch of their family; Judy brought chocolate chip cookies that were yum-o. Oh, and Heather brought carrots, peppers and hummus too – to make sure we had something not filled with sugar to munch on between cookie tastes. Thanks Heather!

Of course, we all chose a Conversations Coffee drink to accompany our sweet treats! Interesting … several leaned toward caramel. The Conversations Mocha with white chocolate and caramel was popular – both hot and frozen were tried! A peanutbutter mocha was recommened as well. Yummy! The young ladies working there were so friendly, sweet and accommodating, allowing me to order no fat, no this, no that, blah blah blah – but convinced me I deserved the whipped cream with extra caramel on top. Well, if you say so. And thank you! As always, our conversations were all over the place – Thanksgiving plans, binders for the holidays (we loved this idea), Suzie Ormond’s organizer (can you guess which of us has that?), Betty’s missing earring, and my stumper of the evening – where is Estonia?!? Let’s not forget our fuzzy sock gift exchange – a perfect treat too, on a chilly November night (we were in the midst of our early week of winter!). I’m actually wearing mine right now. Blue with white polka dots matches everything! Thank you to who brought them; I love them. Love my Diva ladies and will never turn down a night out with them. Happy holidays to all and I can’t wait to resume our antics in 2020! •

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approximately 4 dozen 1 C canned pumpkin 2 C flour 1 C sugar 2 tsp. baking powder ½ C vegetable oil* 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 egg 1/8 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp. vanilla ½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. milk 1 C chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 2. Mix pumpkin, sugar, veg oil, egg and vanilla in a bowl 3. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda in another bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture, add milk, blend well, stir in chocolate chips. 4. Use tsp. to drop cookies on a baking sheet 5. Bake for 10 minutes * Same amount of plain/natural applesauce can be used instead of oil A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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NOW HIRING We’re Looking For an Advertising Salesperson to Join Our Team

35 Years of Dedicated & Caring Service to Wylie and the Surrounding Area

SMALL ANIMALS & HORSES FULL SERVICE MEDICAL & SURGICAL CARE 24 Hour Emergency Service Available for Our Clients Park Blvd. Water Tower

Parker Rd. Vet. Hosp. Ballard St.

FM 1378

Parker Rd.

Brown St.


y 78


FM 544

One mile north of Downtown Wylie (Next to the Water Tower)

Dr. Kerin

Dr. Abraham

Dr. Wallis

Dr. Myers


707 Parker Rd • Wylie


RESPONSIBILITIES: Sales and collaboration for Wylie Chamber publications – the bi-monthly Connection Magazine and the annual Wylie Chamber of Commerce Community & Business Guide.

QUALIFICATIONS: • 2+ years in Advertising Sales/Outside Sales/Customer Service, Chamber experience a plus • Excellent communication skills • Experience with Social Media a plus • Basic computer skills needed/ability to work within the Chamber’s database • Self-motivated and able to work with minimal supervision • Ability to balance multiple responsibilities in a high energy environment • Ability to meet deadlines & budget requirements • Willingness to work within a team structure • Flexible hours within Chamber hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) with some evenings and early mornings • Willingness to attend Chamber events

COMPENSATION: Commission Based Pay Structure The Wylie Chamber of Commerce staff is a group of likeminded people that take ownership of what they do and do it well. We push each other to be the best as a team, and as individuals. We have strong team values, including: Passion for excellence and going the extra mile.

Fesaha Gebrehiwot, DDS - better known as “Dr. G”


• In Office Implants and Root Canals • Dentures • 3-D Imaging • Braces for Adults and Children

Resumes and letters of reference can be submitted to the Wylie Chamber of Commerce via e-mail to info@wyliechamber.org or by postal mail at 307 N. Ballard Ave., Wylie, TX 75098

560 Country Club Rd., #106, Wylie

(214) 702-0446

www.trusteddentalcare.com | www.facebook.com/TrustedDentalCare 34 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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Welcome New Members!


www.wyliechamber.org 307 N. Ballard Ave. Wylie, TX 75098 972-442-2804


Burgerim At Wylie Lubaba Nahar 469-786-0131 www.burgerim.com

Seventy 8 & Westgate Misty Miller 214-891-9181 www.seventy8westgate.com

Hobbs Farmers Insurance Agency Tiffany Hoang Hobbs 469-502-3579 www.agents.farmers.com/tx/wylie/ thuy-hoang-hobbs?Source_Indicator=AP

Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Wylie West Kimberley Jones 469-543-0009 www.hiexpress.com/wylietx

Edward Jones Luke Trahan 214-366-7722 www.edwardjones.com

L&M Personal Assistants Sherry Searcy 972-922-9845 www.lmpersonalassistants.com

Dekalash - Murphy Kirana Shantha 469-609-7774 www.dekalash.com

Data Center Active Ryan Elliott 972-926-3573 www.datacenteractive.com

Candy Noble - Texas State Rep., District 89 Suzanne Bowers 972-423-6542 www.house.texas.gov/members/ member-page/?district=89

Hobbs Insurance Agency Thuy - Tiffany Hoang Hobbs 469-502-3579 thoang@farmersagent.com

PK Floors Plus Sheila Flavin 469-626-3230 www.pkfloors.com

HempXa, Inc. Carmen Soto 214-299-9067 www.Hempxa.com

Willow Family Dentistry Esther Jeong 972-881-0715 www.willowfamilydds.com

Pathway Psychiatry and Counseling Center, PLLC Ashley Gardner, M.D. 214-997-4459 www.pathwaypsychiatry.com

Hobbs Payment Solutions Office Tiffany Hoang Hobbs 469-502-3579 www.tsys.com

Iron Throne Site Services Jennifer Langel 214-600-7667 www.ironthronesiteservices.com Bold BBQ Pit LLC Adam Diebold 972-804-9939 www.boldbbqpit.com

Coldwell Banker Apex, Realtors / The Aaron Morrow Team Aaron Morrow 214-335-3085 www.aaronmorrow.com

120 E. FM 544, Ste. 72 PMB 157 Murphy, TX 75094 972-805-3749

Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Wylie West Kimberley Jones 469-543-0009 www.hiexpress.com/wylietx Maxwell Creek Family Dentistry Lonnie Guardiola 972-442-3028 www.maxwellcreekdds.com Paradise Nail Spa Duyen Anh Tran 806-224-9887 tran.duyenanh89@gmail.com Sylvan Learning of Murphy Roy Vargis 469-454-0110 www.sylvanmurphy.com

Community Waste Disposal 972-392-9300 www.communitywastedisposal.com

Rotary Club of Wylie East Fork 972-429-4465 www.wylierotary.org

Masterpiece Roofing & Construction 469-774-2998 www.masterpieceroofingtx.com

PetSuites – Murphy 469-409-1065 www.murphy.petsuitesofamerica.com

The Station 214-954-7008 www.thestationtx.com

Iron Throne Site Services 214-600-7667 www.ironthronesiteservices.com

Holiday Inn Express & Suites 469-543-0009 www.holidayinn.com

Jumbo Wars 469-534-7234 www.jumbowars.com

Goosehead Insurance 214-838-5432 www.gooseheadinsurance.com

Kumon Math & Reading Center of Sachse 972-414-9060 www.kumon.com/sachse

www.sachsechamber.com 5560 Hwy. 78 Sachse, TX 75048 972-496-1212

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Trends in Charitable Giving The hows and whys of charity in America Provided by Trace Dennis


ccording to Giving USA 2018, Americans gave an estimated $410.02 billion to charity in 2017. That’s the first time that the amount has totaled more than $400 billion in the history of the report. Americans give to charity for two main reasons: to support a cause or organization they care about or to leave a legacy through their support. When giving to charitable organizations, some people elect to support through cash donations. Others, however, understand that supporting an organization may generate tax benefits. They may opt to follow techniques that can maximize both the gift and the potential tax benefit. Here’s a quick review of a few charitable choices: Remember, the information in this article is not a replacement for real-life advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Make sure to consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional before modifying your charitable giving strategy. Direct gifts are just that: contributions made directly to charitable organizations. Direct gifts may be deductible from income taxes depending on your individual situation. Charitable gift annuities are not related to annuities offered by insurance companies. Under this arrangement, the donor gives money, securities, or real estate, and in return, the charitable organization agrees to pay the donor a fixed income. Upon the death of the donor, the assets pass to the charitable organization. Charitable gift annuities enable donors to receive consistent income and potentially manage taxes. Pooled-income funds pool contributions from various donors into a fund, which is invested by the charitable organization. Income from the fund is distributed to the donors according to their share of the fund. Pooledincome funds enable donors to receive income, potentially manage taxes, and make a future gift to charity. Gifts in trust enable donors to contribute to a charity and leave assets to beneficiaries. Generally, these irre-

vocable trusts take one of two forms. With a charitable remainder trust, the donor can receive lifetime income from the assets in the trust, which then pass to the charity when the donor dies; in the case of a charitable lead trust, the charity receives the income from the assets in the trust, which then pass to the donor’s beneficiaries when the donor dies. Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. Before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations. Donor-advised funds are funds administered by a charity to which a donor can make irrevocable contributions. This gift may have tax considerations, which is another benefit. The donor also can recommend that the fund make distributions to qualified charitable organizations. Some people are comfortable with their current gifting strategies. Others, however, may want a more advanced strategy that can maximize their gift and generate potential tax benefits. A financial professional can help you assess which approach may work best for you. LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial. • Trace Dennis may be reached at 972-429-0603 or tracedennis@jaldennis.com.

36 • The CONNECTION • December 2019/January 2020

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Business is Booming in Wylie Wylie Economic Development Corporation continues to focus on strengthening and developing a robust business base in Wylie. Industrial, manufacturing and commercial businesses alike have decided that Wylie is THE place to be! What does this mean for you? Strong and thriving businesses enrich our community with job opportunities, diverse dining & shopping options and infuse the local economy with property and sales tax support. All good news for Wylie citizens! Chick-Fil-A opened last May at the corner of Highway 78 & Cooper Drive. Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery and Fish-n-Tails Oyster Bar joined them this Fall. And Breaking News – Whataburger will join them early next year! Just around the corner on FM 544, Wylie’s first French cuisine restaurant, Josephine’s, began serving Wylie area residents this summer. A full-service restaurant featuring a farm-to-table concept that procures the bulk of its product from local growers and ranchers. Pet Supply Plus, Credit Union of Texas and BURGERim all joined Woodbridge Centre’s Kroger anchored development in 2019. Woodbridge Crossing welcomed ULTA, Skechers, Great American Cookie Company & Marble Slab Creamery, Bath & Body Works along with the newest addition, Mod Pizza, which opened in October. Industrial and manufacturing business is booming in Wylie as well. Deanan Gourmet Popcorn expanded and consolidated its operations in Wylie, adding over 10,000 sf to its production facility on Windco Circle. Regency Business Park, which welcomed DCU’s 10,000+ square foot facility this past year, has caught the attention of other businesses looking to relocate to Wylie. Cardinal Strategies broke ground this fall and has plans to hire engineering professionals to expand their growing business. Historic Downtown Wylie continues to flourish and attract new businesses like Frankie’s Mexican Cuisine, Bold Barbecue, OMG Creamery and the reopening of La Joya Mexican Restaurant. As if you needed another reason to love Historic Downtown Wylie, you now have more reasons to spend a little more time in our unique downtown area. Last but not least, all eyes are focused on Collin College’s Wylie campus. Construction is well underway on FM 1378 and the campus is on track to open its doors to students in the Fall of 2020. New businesses are finding Wylie a great place to call home, and … we couldn’t agree more!

972-442-7901 | www.WylieEDC.com

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WISHES DON’T BUILD WEALTH The Connection Magazine, Wylie Chamber of Commerce

Proper Planning Can

This Holiday Season Call Us To Schedule a Complimentary Portfolio Review.

972-429-0603 601 Commerce St., Wylie, TX 75098


Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC.

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Profile for Anne Hiney

Wylie CONNECTION Magazine Dec 2019/Jan 2020  

The CONNECTION Magazine is published by the Wylie Chamber of Commerce, Wylie Texas and distributed free to the communities surrounding Wylie...

Wylie CONNECTION Magazine Dec 2019/Jan 2020  

The CONNECTION Magazine is published by the Wylie Chamber of Commerce, Wylie Texas and distributed free to the communities surrounding Wylie...

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