Wylie CONNECTION Magazine November/December 2021

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November/December 2021 • Volume 16 - Issue 5

Happy Holidays!

When reading digital version on smart devices or your computer, tap or click to activate all QR Code links.

LINK TO NEW VIDEO FROM CHAMBER PRESIDENT PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID WYLIE, TX PERMIT# 63

The Connection Magazine, Wylie Chamber of Commerce

Your Window to Wylie

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JAL DENNIS GROUP Volunteerism is Alive & Well in Wylie! A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication Digital Version: www.wyliechamber.org

Please Recycle This Magazine After Reading!

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As we bring 2021 to a close, we at the Connection would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our advertisers and readers that have supported us over the last 15 years. We are grateful to each and every one and look forward to continuing to Connect the area with great information and stories about the people and businesses who make Wylie a wonderful community. I am so excited about the content in this issue, as we spotlight the many people and non-profit organizations who work tirelessly for those in need in Wylie and surrounding cities. They do it yearround with little fanfare and are always open to receiving more help to do what they do. Many won’t ask for it, so we are asking on their behalf – I sincerely hope something inside this issue touches you and incentivizes you to get involved. This is our home, and it is our responsibility to leave it better than it was when we got here. November is a month of giving back as well as giving thanks. In the following pages, we hope to provide a place for you to direct your giving. The Jal Dennis Group is our Cover Spotlight this month, and they are the perfect business to kick off our giving issue. JDG was one of our founding advertisers and have been with us for all 15 years. They are a perfect example of a local business that gives back to make our community better. Our feature story highlights volunteering and the many groups

in the area who work daily to improve quality of life for everyone. From In-Sync Exotics to the Wylie Community Christian Care Center and everyone in between, we hope to inspire you to get involved. Our regular columns continue the theme of giving by bringing you Wylie Chamber President stories about professors who inspire students, WISD winter performances, volunteering at Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and making charitable contributions. The calendar follows up with information on holiday events in the area. It feels good to think of having normal holiday chaos – even if it is just a small step for some – and we hope you and yours are able to be together. On a final Chamber note, thanks to all who sponsored, volunteered, and attended the Wylie Championship Rodeo in September. We had two nights of great weather and recordsmashing crowds to complement the Rodeo action. Keeping up with the growth is a challenge – we will continue to add seating to the arena so more can enjoy the experience. We can’t wait for Wylie Rodeo 2022! As always, we hope you enjoy reading the Connection as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. Happy Holidays from all of us!

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CONTENTS

November/December 2021 • Volume 16 - Issue 5

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

WYLIE CHAMBER PRESIDENT Mike Agnew ADVISORY BOARD Jan Arrant Craig Kelly Stacie Smith ADVERTISING SALES Melissa Irvin CREATIVE DIRECTOR Anne Hiney CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Judy Truesdell CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Deonna Osborn Craig Kelly Heather Darrow PHOTOGRAPHY Ethan Good

PROFILE OF SUCCESS 4

Ian Halperin Heather Darrow

Donnita Fisher Jan Arrant Ian Halperin Nick Young

For information about advertising in The CONNECTION Magazine please contact the Wylie Chamber at 972-442-2804 or adsales@wyliechamber.org. All are welcome to advertise, Chamber membership is not required. Share comments and story ideas with Anne Hiney at theconnection.anne@mac.com.

Digital edition available online at www.wyliechamber.org

The CONNECTION Magazine ©2021, Wylie Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. The CONNECTION is published bimonthly and mailed free of charge to over 25,000 households and businesses with an estimated readership of over 75,000 in the Wylie area. Additional copies are distributed to our advertisers and high traffic 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 it was hidden on page 16 on the First Thursdays ad. Happy butterfly hunting!! NOTE: The first person to correctly locate the butterfly and send an email to magnew@wyliechamber.org wins a

JAL DENNIS GROUP

CONNECTION FEATURES 6

LEND A HELPING HAND

CONNECTION COLUMNS 10

CITY OF WYLIE

13

CALENDAR

15

COLLIN COLLEGE

16

WYLIE ISD

19

YOUR HEALTH

20

YOUR MONEY

Meals on Wheels & Fire Safety

Local Events

Passing the Torch

Winter Performances Hospital Volunteers

Cash Alternatives for Charitable Giving

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. ~ Charles Dickens

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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ON THE COVER: Demond Dawkins, Derek Draper, Trace Dennis & Kristi Denham with the Jal Dennis Group. Photo by Ethan Good

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A

s a staple in the Wylie community, the Jal Dennis Group is invested in continuing to provide the outstanding family- and clientcentric service that the firm was built on. Our skilled team of advisors holds a variety of licenses which enables us to meet the unique needs of our clients and the community. Leading the team is Trace Dennis, founder Jal Dennis’ son. Trace joined the firm in 2014 after serving in the Marines in the Iraqi War and earning his degree from the University of New Mexico. In addition to holding several securities licenses, Trace holds the designation of Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and enjoys analyzing market trends and investment research. The Jal Dennis Group’s team of licensed advisors includes Demond Dawkins, who joined the firm in 2017 after 25 years in the banking industry. Demond brings a wealth of knowledge to the community; he serves on the board of the Wylie Economic Development Corporation, has expertise in Social Security, and is licensed with Medicare (he’s the resident Medicare expert in Wylie!) He

also serves as a pastor in Fate. Demond holds the Certified Kingdom Advisor and Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) designations. Demond and Derek Draper offer educational webinars on our unique Faith-Based Investment platform. Julia Thorman, Certified Financial Planner, brings over 36 years in the financial industry. Julia works with a wide range of clients from her office in McKinney. She is very active in the local community including becoming a foster parent after raising her own family. Advisor Kristi Denham holds the designation of Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) and joined the group in 2019 with over a decade of customer service experience. Kristi has passion for the community and is often seen representing the Jal Dennis Group at Chamber events and visiting local businesses. Kristi also hosts a regular educational webinar series on financial topics unique to women. Rounding out the advisory team is Derek Draper, who is known to many as a former pastor at First

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Baptist Wylie. The Draper name is well known in the community, and Derek is active in the Wylie athletic and camp community as well as broadcasting the Wylie High School football games. Along with Demond, Derek is an advocate for our Faith-Based Investment platform. Heading up the office staff is our office manager Rhonda McDowell. Rhonda has been with the Jal Dennis Group since 2011. She ensures that all clients have an enjoyable experience and serves on the LPL Service and Operations Council. She makes sure that the entire team is up to date and trained on the latest technologies and procedures. Rhonda’s personal life centers around church and family. She and her family have participated in several missionary trips. When you first contact our office, you will be instantly greeted with a warm smile and pleasant introduction. Regina Smith joined the firm in 2016 and has endeared herself to everyone as she makes sure all clients and visitors speak with the person

best equipped to help them. It would be impossible to list all the ways Regina keeps our office organized. Her primary duties are scheduling client meetings and maintaining the calendar as well as assisting everyone in all of our projects. Kathy Griffith joined the Jal Dennis Group in 2021. Kathy brings 13 years of experience leading back office operations, analytics and customer support teams for major energy companies. She has spent the last 12 years volunteering and serving in a variety of leadership roles on various boards in her church and community while raising her two children with her husband. Our team offers a wide range of skills and life experiences to meet the needs of our growing community and client base. We still strive to maintain the highest level of client satisfaction to provide the best and most personal experience. We believe in investing in our clients before they invest in us. If we can help in any way, please give us a call at 972-429-0603 or email us at info@jaldennis.com. •

As a full-service financial consulting firm, Jal Dennis Group Investment Services provides individual investors and small business owners with retirement planning and strategies that seek portfolio growth through assistance in the following areas: • Financial Planning • Investment Management • Retirement Planning • Tax Strategies • Insurance • Education Planning • Estate Planning • Trust Services • Guided Wealth Portfolios • Fiduciary Focus A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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972-429-0603

601 Commerce St., Wylie, TX 75098

www.jaldennis.com Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., and affiliate of LPL Financial. www.wyliechamber.org | 5

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V by Deonna Osborn

olunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”

- Author Unknown

Wylie is rich in many ways, from education to business to its sense of community. Volunteerism is an active, yet often understated value Wylie residents hold dear. Our community is home to a plethora of non-profits in which volunteers participate throughout the year. By definition, a not-for-profit organization donates money received to help fund its objectives and goals. It might also use donations to run dayto-day activities but never to turn an actual profit, as with a traditional business. Wylie’s extensive patchwork of such entities fosters civic engagement, promotes education, encourages health of both people and animals, and works to inspire, protect, and enlighten the lives of residents regardless of their socioeconomic status. None of these could function without a significant volunteer base, oftentimes not immediately visible to those who benefit from the organization. For example, local wildlife rescue and educational center In-Sync Exotics, globally recognized home to over 69 animals rescued from private owners, breeders, the entertainment industry, and other sources, relies on the support of volunteers. According to Lon Ricker, liaison to many local nonprofits, the center is supported by over 100 trained volunteers who, due to the sensitive nature of the cats and safety measures, commit many training hours to the facility, the animals, and the public. In addition, In-Sync utilizes many project volunteers who assist in other areas that do not involve direct contact with the animals. When patrons purchase the lovely jewelry for sale in Hope’s Gate, the downtown Wylie storefront, they may not know the behind-the-scenes work done by this outstanding group. Director Kendra Medina said that the jewelry is created by orphans and women in danger of becoming victims of sex trafficking in areas of India, Uganda, Thailand and certain areas of the Middle East.

These women learn valuable skills and are employed by this all-volunteer organization, run by fewer than 10 volunteers. It has also provided 26 full scholarships since 2016. Lori Villareal, Wylie ISD Education Foundation’s director, explained the mission of this longtime Wylie organization. “The Foundation works to enhance education by inspiring volunteer leadership and community

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giving to fund Grants for Teachers and Scholarships for Seniors.” Many neighbors, friends, and teachers of our own students have benefited from the work of the Education Foundation. This organization works yearround, hand in

hand with the district and community, to improve the educational experience for all in Wylie ISD. Karen Ellis, director of Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Wylie, said, “Amazing Grace Food Pantry is exclusively a volunteer organization, committed to providing nutritious food to our community struggling to make ends meet. Food insecurity can strike anyone at any time.”

Those who have been assisted by the pantry have said that it helps them meet essential needs with dignity and without judgment and that staff tailors family boxes to meet special dietary needs in a clean, organized, and safe environment. The food pantry serves over 2,000 families each year; Karen noted there has been a sharp increase in food insecurity over the last couple of years as COVID has created unexpected hardship for many families. Wylie Acting Group is another prominent non-profit in our community, bringing acting opportunities to the youth and families of Wylie without charging tuition. The entity encourages young leaders and fosters confidence in many youngsters. Board of directors member Tiffany Harrod said, “Every show is an amazing evolution of building a new family group and deep friendships that last for years.” WAG began in 2010 as a children’s theater and debuted its first adult show in 2015, currently producing seven to eight productions each year. Despite COVID restrictions in 2020, Wylie Acting Group found unique ways for students and adults to express their creativity through acting and producing quality shows. His Gracious Hands is a unique service-based organization within the city. Founder Tony Jacinto said the organization “dedicates its time and resources to veterans, families in trouble, first responders, and anyone who really needs a hand.” This entity has even developed partnerships with other local non-profits, such as Five Loaves Food Pantry and Jonathan’s House, in order to increase its service area and maintain its commitment to a true sense of community. Recently, the group restored a hot water heater to a community member who had been without hot water since February. Providing practical, yet necessary, daily functions is a goal of this organization, which brings comforts often taken for granted by the average resident. At Texas Therapeutic Riding Center, individuals with diverse needs experience the healing power of the horse through equine-assisted activities and therapies, facilitated by a professional and passionate community. Equine therapy is offered for children and adults, including those with special needs, veterans, and their families. The organization was formed in 2018, and the horses serve over 60 clients each week. Wylie Community Christian Care Center was Continued...

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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www.wyliechamber.org | 7

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founded in the 1970s by Wylie-area churches and provides food, clothing, and financial assistance; last year, over $100,000 was paid out to assist families with rent and utilities. The center is known for working with elementary school counselors and various community entities to provide essentials to residents in need, according to Mary Warkentine, co-director. The center hosts a couple of fundraisers each year, with the Taste of Wylie being an annual community favorite. Many organizations in Wylie are supported by “friends of” groups. For example, Smith Public Library Director Ofilia Barrera said the library is supported by the Friends of the Rita & Truett Smith Public Library group, a non-policy-making non-profit organization that operates exclusively to support the library. The Friends benefit the library in many ways, from fundraising to helping provide instructors for computer classes or furniture for the Teen Room. They also give back to the community by funding enrichment programs for the public. Wylie is fortunate to have too many non-profits to name. From large to small, each does its part to augment the lives of various sectors of the community. Each fills a need others may never see or hear about unless it touches their own lives. We are truly blessed by the efforts of those keeping these organizations alive and well through their donations of time and funds. A few other unique non-profits in the Wylie area include 1Lt. Robert F. Welch III Charity, Wylie Historical Society, The Coventry Reserve, numerous PTAs, the Wylie Rotary Club, Wylie Lions Club, The American Legion / Hale-Combest Post 315 and Auxiliary, and East Fork Masonic Lodge. A complete list of non-profit organizations belonging to the Wylie Chamber of Commerce can be found at: business.wyliechamber.org/list/ql/ non-profit-organizations-40 One thing is for sure: volunteerism is alive and well in Wylie. Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” Those giving back to the community find that, not only are the lives of those benefitting from their volunteerism enhanced, but their own lives are improved in unimaginable ways as well. Take the time to read the mission statements of these entities and find one that fits your interests and philosophy. One person can truly change the community and maybe even the world. The Wylie community has long embraced the philosophy of volunteerism, one of the many things that makes Wylie a special place to live and work. •

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Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season from the Team at CWA! COMMUNITY

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Park Blvd.

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W. Brown St.

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WYLIE Ballard Ave.

McMillan Rd. Country Club Rd.

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Parker Rd.

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CITY OF WYLIE by Amber Hamilton

Service to the Community - It’s More than a Job City of Wylie employees take pride in serving the community every day, and that spirit of service takes on special meaning during the holiday season. In September, city departments were given the opportunity to make "Harvest Boxes" through the Collin County Meals on Wheels program. The boxes, similar in size to a case of printer paper, are filled with non-perishable food items, like canned meats and veggies, simple cleaning products, toiletries, and extras such as dried fruit, postage stamps, or large print puzzle books. Multiple departments answered the call, purchased the requested items, and added a loving touch by decorating the outside of the boxes with fall decor, bows, and wrapping paper. City staff completed seven Harvest Boxes. “Partnering with Meals on Wheels is a great thing for City of Wylie staff,” said Nelda Timmons, a city employee. “With it being put on hold last year because of COVID, we were all eager to come back in 2021 to serve the organization and deliver some joy to those in need.” Timmons added that staff has a good time working together to create the boxes, but the reward comes from delivering the packages to seniors who are often isolated. “We see the same residents every year, and they are always happy to receive a box. It gives us the chance to show our faces in the community and let them know they aren’t alone.”

employees served weekly every Friday taking hot meals and a weekend packet to many Wylie seniors. Asst. City Manager Renae Ollie, who also has a passion for service, encourages employees to get involved. “Being involved goes beyond a face in an office at City Hall. It means you’re not just here to collect a paycheck and that you are vested in the community. Even if you don’t live here, you can care here.” Ollie is currently the vice president of North Texas Women Leading Government, a board member for Collin County Habitat for Humanity and the Wylie Education Foundation, and is involved with the Wylie Eastfork Rotary Club. “Volunteering is not only rewarding to others, but it’s rewarding for me,” said Ollie. “I have a passion for serving, and what better place to serve than in my community.” Meals on Wheels is a national non-profit that focuses on senior hunger and isolation. Go to mealsonwheelscc.org, the Collin County chapter, and see how you can get involved and “give hope to those seniors in isolation through the smiles of each volunteer.”

Serving with Meals on Wheels is not new to Wylie employees. Before COVID, which changed the delivery process, 10

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A Passion for Fire Safety in the Home Wylie Fire Rescue Captain Ray Jackson took the stage and welcomed hundreds of excited Bush Elementary School students to the final fire education program of 2021. Firefighters known as the “Wylie Wild Bunch” visited 25 WISD elementary schools, private schools, and daycares throughout October (Fire Safety Month) with a 30-minute fire prevention program titled Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety. The high-energy, comical presentation emphasized the importance of working smoke detectors, proper use of 9-1-1, developing a home escape plan, and stop, drop and roll. The Wylie Wild Bunch brought smiles to kids’ faces and taught fire safety lessons through the zany antics of Hill and Billy as they looked for clues and figured out riddles while navigating an escape room.

by Craig Kelly

puppet), Brian Moriarty (offstage voice), and Joe Wetzel (sound). Jackson said that it takes months to prepare for the shows, and many people work behind the scenes from set design to day-of-show setup. Do you know the Sounds of Fire Safety? Wylie Fire Rescue will conduct home inspections, replace detector batteries, or install new detectors free of charge. Do not delay! Wylie residents should call 972-442-8110 to schedule a visit.

Jackson, who has been a part of the department’s education program for 20 years, talked about his passion for teaching kids fire safety, “We reach more than 7,000 elementary kids with the important message of fire safety and feel strongly that early education prevents fire deaths and injuries with our kids.” The cast and crew for this year’s production included Brandon Storm (Hill), Zach Hawkes (Billy), Richard Hollien (Jethro the

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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November/December 11/6 Smith Public Library - 50th Anniversary

Party: Dust off those poodle skirts and get the Brylcreem

ready to celebrate 50 years of library service with us! Enjoy all sorts of fun, family-friendly activities. This is a come-and-go event. Check web for schedule. wylietexas.gov/library

Festival Join us for vendors, raffle & silent auction, music,

games, facepainting and food! Gates open at 11 a.m. www.insyncexotics.org/events/

11/12,13 & 14 WAG Presents The

Hardley Boys - A Golden Mystery Solving mysteries was an everyday occurrence for Jim, John and Harriet; once upon a time. Fast forward, and these once fantastic detectives are bored and living in a retirement community. When a mystery presents itself, these comical characters will go to no ends to solve it! www.wylieactinggroup.org/store/Tickets-c25212132

11/19 & 12/17 Smith Public Library - Family Fun Friday: Legos! Puzzles! Games! Movies! Fun for the whole family. 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. No registration required. wylietexas.gov/library

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Come join us as we give our cats a Thanksgiving treat – Cornish game hens. Gates open at 11 a.m. www.insyncexotics.org/events/

12/2 Murphy Christmas in the Park

Performances, vendors, games & activities, tree lighting, Santa and more! City Hall Complex from 5:30 - 8 p.m. www.murphytx.org/334/Christmas-in-the-Park

12/4 Wylie Arts Festival Over 140 vendors will be

available for holiday shopping! 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free. Food & Kids Activities. wylietexas.gov/ArtsFestival

12/5 Wylie Parade & Tree Lighting

Parade starts at 6 p.m. followed by the tree lighting in Downtown Wylie on Ballard Ave.

12/8 Sachse Christmas Extravaganza

Lighted Christmas parade at 6 p.m., followed by Tree Lighting in front of City Hall at 7 p.m. Come enjoy Santa, cookies, storytime, petting zoo, train rides and a Winter Wonderland Surprise you won't want to miss. www.cityofsachse.com/384/Christmas-Extravaganza

CALENDAR

11/6 In-Sync Exotics Pumpkin Toss and Fall

11/27 In-Sync Exotics Annual Fowl Fling

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COLLIN COLLEGE

Passing the Torch: THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION BEGINS IN THE CLASSROOM by Heather Darrow

A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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Photo by Nick Young, Collin College photographer.

W

hen Samiul Haque registered for a class his friend recommended, he had no idea that his whole educational trajectory would change. He was pursuing a degree in biology, and the introduction to sociology class was just an elective – at least initially. “From day one I was hooked,” Samiul said. “Professor Pam Gaiter encouraged camaraderie and made it a comfortable environment. It was so refreshing.” Samiul said he didn’t know anything about sociology before taking the class, but he couldn’t wait to learn more. When he gave an immigration presentation, he was astounded by a classmate’s comment. “One student said, ‘If you were a professor, I would take your class.’ That was really the moment that changed things up for me,” said Samiul, who since taking the class has earned an Associate of Arts, cum laude, from Collin College and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, summa cum laude, from The University of Texas at Dallas. He is on track to earn a Master of Science Degree in Applied Sociology from UTD this spring and ultimately plans to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology. “The education at Collin is second to none,” Samiul said. “It has the gold standard of faculty and staff. The classes are small, so I received a lot of one-on-one time with professors. I was the most vocal one in my sociology classes at UTD because of my time at Collin.” Samiul’s first sociology class included the opportunity for service learning, a program which engages students in experiential learning through service opportunities that benefit the community. With a full-time job, he didn’t think he had time to volunteer. However, when his classmates shared experiences about tutoring elementary school students, he changed his mind. “I didn’t want to miss out, so I did it in Professor Gaiter’s Social Problems class,” he said. “It is humbling and rewarding to give back to the community and apply sociology to real world solutions.”

Samiul Hague with Professor Pam Gaiter.

In this course he and his fellow students presented topics to the class nearly every week. “I gave a presentation on arranged marriage, and I received great feedback from my peers,” Samiul said. “I walked to Professor Gaiter’s office and told her that the classroom is where I want to be. When I told her that I wanted to go into academia, she gave me the biggest smile and said, ‘Well let’s make it happen.’ ” Samiul learned firsthand that one class could change your life. When he graduated with his bachelor’s degree, he was given a stole of gratitude, and he immediately knew who to give it to. “I thought about who had an impact on me and my education. It was a no-brainer – Professor Gaiter, the person who inspired me to study sociology. I wanted her to know how much she meant to me, how I found so much joy in academia and since then how it has been my greatest academic and professional aspiration to one day follow in her footsteps. I wanted her to know that believing not just in me but in all her students really does make a difference.” •

To apply and register for Collin College classes at the Wylie Campus, visit www.collin.edu/campuses/wylie. www.wyliechamber.org | 15

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WYLIE ISD

THE WYLIE ISD FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT P

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18 12:00 PM WEHS CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK - BAND CHARITY EVENT

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YOUR HEALTH

Volunteer [vol-uhn-teer] Noun 1. a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking 2. a person who performs a service willingly and without pay by Jan Arrant

B

y the very definition, volunteers are those with servant hearts who Photos provided by Jan Arrant. freely give of themselves to help others. Some do it because they are a true calming presence have a “why” or personal connection to and put anxious families at an organization or cause. Some volunteer ease.” because they were just raised to give Volunteers also raise money back. And some give their time out of the by selling popcorn to provide Pam Anderson and Tony Deyoe volunteer their time goodness of their heart. Whatever the scholarships for junior at Methodist Richardson Medical Center. reason, Methodist Richardson Medical volunteers and to supplement Center is grateful for those who choose to share their department requests for smaller needs that arise and time to help improve the health of others. may not be budgeted. “I just love it,” says Tony Deyoe of Wylie. “It’s fulfilling, There are also some less traditional roles, like the giving back to help other people, who are here at the volunteer who plays the piano in the lobby of the hospital for various reasons. I like to bring a little cheer Cancer Center to soothe patients and staff alike, and our if I can.” pet therapy volunteers who bring the comfort of furry, Tony is a lifelong volunteer who worked 27 years four-pawed friends. with Special Olympics, in honor of his brother with Volunteers play such a vital role at the hospital, they Down’s syndrome. After moving to Wylie, he says he left a big void when the program was temporarily drove by the hospital almost every day and told his wife suspended due to the pandemic. But, they are back at that he wanted to volunteer. He applied and has been work and once again making a difference. volunteering two days a week for almost five years now. Pam Anderson said she was certainly happy to return. Pam Anderson, also from Wylie, jokes that giving back “I was so excited to be back. I truly know that all the must be in her DNA. Her parents served as hospital staff in this hospital really appreciate the extra hands volunteers for 25 years. and smiles and encouragement that the volunteers can “I am living the legacy of my parents,” says Pam. give,” she says. “It’s really important to me.” For her, it’s all about the Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, connection with people. “This is what I’m called to do. and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System The Lord tells me that every day, so I’m grateful and (Methodist) provides quality, integrated healthcare to honored to be able to be a part of it.” improve and save the lives of individuals and families Gone are the days of the candy striper volunteers who throughout North Texas. Twelve hospitals proudly were mostly teenagers interested in healthcare careers carry the Methodist Health System brand, as owners or community service. Most volunteers now are retirees or through affiliation. More than 50 Methodist Family who want to remain active and vibrant. Health Centers and Methodist Medical Group specialty physician office locations are among the facilities served “We currently have about 140 volunteers,” says Amy by the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is Taylor, Director of Volunteer Services at Methodist affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference Richardson. They do any number of jobs that help of the United Methodist Church. Additional information take the burden off nurses and other staff, including is available at MethodistHealthSystem.org. • helping escort patients and visitors, restocking personal protective equipment (PPE) boxes, and manning the Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the surgery waiting area, keeping families updated about Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not their loved ones, which Amy says is a vital role. “They employees or agents of Methodist Health System. A Wylie Chamber of Commerce Publication

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www.wyliechamber.org | 19

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YOUR MONEY

Cash Alternatives for Charitable Giving THINKING ABOUT DONATING? THINK OF THESE CHOICES.

T

Provided by Trace Dennis

he year is winding down, and you may be thinking of giving. In fact, you may want to explore the different ways in which you can donate to a charity or non-profit organization, apart from just making a cash gift. Consider some of the alternatives. Keep in mind this article is for informational purposes only. It's not a replacement for real-life advice. Make sure to consult your tax and legal professionals before modifying your gift-giving strategy. Donor-advised funds (DAFS). DAFs are essentially charitable savings accounts. Some are created and run by 501(c)(3) non-profits. Others are offered by brokerages and banks. You can direct assets into a DAF for future charitable gifts. The bank, brokerage, or non-profit takes legal control of these assets, and may offer you investment choices for the assets and a selection of charities to which you may donate some or all the assets each year. As a donor, you are eligible for a tax deduction in the year of the gift(s). If you like the general idea of “giving to charity” rather than to a specific charity, a DAF may appeal to you. DAFs are sold only by prospectus. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money. DAFs are subject to fluctuation in value and market risk. Shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs). Are you age 70 or older? Do you have a traditional Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA)? While annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) from an IRA will bring you income, those RMDs could also mean extra income tax. If you are looking for ways to potentially manage your tax bill, one choice is to donate your RMD to charity via a QCD. With the help of a financial professional, you arrange a direct payment of some or all of your RMD to charity (there is a $100,000 cap). All of the donated amount may be excluded from your gross income for

20 | THECONNECTION | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

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the year of the donation. You can make a QCD starting in the year you turn 70½, though you do not have to take your first RMD until age 72. Generally, distributions from traditional IRAs must begin once you reach age 72. The money distributed to you is taxed as ordinary income. When such distributions are taken before age 59½, they may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Donations of highly appreciated stocks. Do you itemize your deductions, rather than simply taking the standard deduction each year? Many non-profits and charities may accept gifts of securities. There are potential advantages for both the donor and charity here, compared with a cash gift. For example, say you own stock and you are considering selling the share and giving the cash from the sale to your favorite charity. You can do that, but if you sell the shares, you might face a capital gain. If you donate the stock to the charity, the charity will take possession of the stock and as the donor, you may be able to deduct the gift. Gift bunching. Taxpayers have the opportunity to “bunch” (i.e., time) charitable gifts if they want to itemize deductions in a certain year instead of taking the standard federal tax deduction. You can still claim the charitable giving deduction rather than the standard deduction, but only if you itemize. If you do itemize, then your charitable deduction for cash gifts can potentially be as large as 60% of your adjusted gross income. Any amount exceeding that threshold can be carried forward for up to five years. As you consider all this, please remember that tax laws are subject to change without notice, and this article is not intended as tax or investment advice. Consult your financial professional before making any charitable gifting, tax, or investment decision. This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. • Trace Dennis may be reached at 972-429-0603 or tracedennis@jaldennis.com.

10/28/21 4:04 PM


Christmas at

COME AND SEE

Light The Night

NOV 28 @ 6PM

Join us for a fun night as we open the Christmas season with hot chocolate, ice skating, and the countdown to our 5th annual light show. Located at 100 North First Street at the intersection of First and Oak Streets in Wylie.

The 2021 Christmas Parade DEC 5 @ 6PM The Christmas Parade travels through beautiful, historic downtown Wylie and is followed by the Christmas tree lighting in Olde City Park. Don’t miss this holiday tradition hosted by First Baptist Wylie and the City of Wylie.! Each weekend in December we will be celebrating Christmas with fun activities for all ages and a meaningful Christmas message series.

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Oct. 15 - Dec. 7, 2021

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Call Today For Assistance With Enrollment And Supplemental Insurance Plans! DEMOND DAWKINS

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The Connection Magazine, Wylie Chamber of Commerce

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