Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 7, 2017

Family Peace Project Director Mary Farmer tells why it’s so hard for victims of family violence to leave.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Members of the Henderson County Republicans learned pet adoption rate at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is up 80 percent in March. “We have a new batch of puppies and kittens,” shelter manager Theressa Henderson said. The shelter received donations from its wish list from the club during its March 23 meeting at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant.
The meeting featured Mary Farmer, director of the Family Peace Project in Athens.
The reason for the uptick in pet adoptions is due to the number of events being run each month, Henderson said. “We’ve gone from two or three a month to 22 a month or more,” she said.
The shelter is hosting an adoption event in Edom Saturday-Sunday, April 8-9, with a pet parade and non-motorized float contest. “There will be lots of prizes. It should be very adorable,” she said. The shelter board, in conjunction with Friends of the Animals, is planning the Whiskers and Wags Gala, at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 29 at the Athens Country Club, she announced.
In club news, members:
• learned meeting dates are set for April 27, May 25 and June 22 with a 21-year-old speaker who graduated from the Patriot Academy, founded by former state representative Rick Green, The intensive leadership boot camp helps students develop leadership strategies, life purpose plans, media relation skills, public speaking, campaign techniques and a founding fathers’ philosophy of government. The Patriot Academy is the premier political leadership training in the nation, guiding young men and women to effectively lead the change in America! “It’s a call to action, a call to greatness, a call to keep the torch of freedom burning bright.”
Anyone interested in the electoral process is invited to attend.
Family Peace Project director Mary Farmer told her story of living under very strict rules laid down by an abusive husband from a religious family, whose legacy also included domestic violence.
“One in three families are affected by domestic violence,” she said.
Her life looked normal from the outside. She was a worship leader in her church, a bank teller in her profession, the mother of a 15-year-old daughter, but the façade fell away, once Sunday night when she opted for the drive through lane for an ice cream cone for her daughter, which put her 20 minutes late getting home.
He was waiting for her and the beating lasted all night. With a broken back, she and her daughter left that night (April 19, 2002) for a shelter, much like the one the Family Peace Project offers to women in her situation.
She and others like her are often asked: Why don’t you just leave? The answer is complicated, she said.
First you want to believe everything is going to be OK.
Second, how do you leave everything you know and go into hiding to stay safe. She and her daughter were hidden away for 30 days. No going back to school. No going back to retrieve precious mementos, photographs, crucial records and documents, clothes, jewelry, electronics.
She also had just 30 days to find employment doing something entirely different in a whole different town, where you know no one and no one knows you.
She was homeless even though her house was deeded to her and her husband from her relatives. She would no longer get to live there.
Thus far, she and the Family Peace Project have assisted 3,000 victims of domestic violence. Nationally three million to 10 million children will witness domestic violence and will become victims and abusers, unless something is done to break the cycle of abuse through education and help to start over.
“We help them start over,” she said. Most clients don’t need shelter; they need legal advocacy, protective orders, job skills, counseling, life skills, healing from rape, help with getting a divorce, Farmer said. She and her children need children’s programs, mentoring, parenting lessons, someone to walk with on the journey. “Volunteers with a heart are desperately needed,” she said.
“We need men who will model what it’s like to treat women with respect. I had never seen that in my entire life,” she said. “This doesn’t require money, it requires a heart.”
The Family Peace Project Office is located at 720 E. Corsicana in Athens and can be reached by calling (903) 677-9177. It also has an office in Terrell and has a satellite location in the Hillcrest Baptist church in Kemp by appointment. It is supported by private donations and the United Way.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Anyone can be a victim; though most are women.
If you are being abused, remember: You are not alone. It is not your fault. And help is available.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 22, 2017

By Susan Harrison
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–Every year, the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates the spirit of community by recognizing key volunteers who contribute their time, talents and creativity to increase the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
It takes many hands and hearts working in many different areas to bring the colorful festivals, man the emergency rescue and fire departments, raise funds for educating the youth and creating opportunities, and bringing comfort, nurture and nutrition to our most vulnerable citizens. Those who have contributed most in 2016 along these lines were nominated by the community at-large, vetted and selected as finalists.
The local chamber-hosted 17th annual awards banquet Monday, March 20 held these up for public applause, gratitude and honor to receive the title of Citizen of the Year, Lifetime Service Award and Ambassador of the Year, among other awards.
The evening’s theme was “Volunteers – Holding the Winning Hand,” and the room at the Cedar Creek Country Club was festively decorated with playing cards, dice and poker chips.
Robin Neighbors, a Mabank High School graduate, was named the “2017 Citizen of the Year.” Her long-time involvement with Mabank Athletic Booster Club raising more than $100,000 to fund nutrition, scholarships, equipment, trips and other necessities for the school’s athletic department put her ahead of the rest. Chamber board member Jim Thompson presented the award. Neighbors also serves on the Mabank ISD Education Foundation, as board president. She is a long-time Mabank Chamber of Commerce board member, chairing and co-chairing many festivals and fundraising events such as The Ladies Poker Night, Mabank’s Festival of the Arts, Ole Fashion Christmas – all the while fulfilling her responsibilities as a wife and mother of two children.
Kathy and John Kendrick were honored with the “Jean Nichols Lifetime Service Award” for their unselfish giving of time and energy for the betterment of the Cedar Creek Lake Area community. The couple have been area residents for over 10 years.
They quickly established themselves as not only tireless workers for their own brand new business (Lone Star Maps), but as community-minded people who were dedicated to making their new home a great place to live and work,” said presenter Chamber Chair Tony Kalawe.
Their many volunteer activities include sponsoring chamber events, serving on chamber committees and as ambassador members, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, shopping for schoolchildren clothes as Kiwanis Club members, as well as delivering pancakes, reading to children and working alongside the Parrot Head Club raising funds to support Special Olympics, scholarships and other worthy projects.
Mabank Fire Department Chief Ricky Myrick was named the recipient of the “Mary Helen Myrick Award” by last year’s winner, Fred Carter.
“He is quick to encourage safety among the firefighters he is responsible for and consistently reminds us to be careful, watchful and that everyone of us to come home,” Carter said.
Myrick has been a top-rated firefighter for more than 40 years and the Fire Chief for the past 18 years. He is also a Master Electrician.
“My chief is always willing to provide assistance, above and beyond his responsibilities, and accept special assignments that serve and benefit his community,” Carter explained.
Mabank Education Foundation President Robin Neighbors named the 2017 Mabank ISD School Campus Teachers of the Year and presented each of them with a $100 gift to spend at any chamber member business.
The teachers are:
• Central Elementary School teacher Nancy Schiff,
• Southside Elementary School teacher Carole Jordan,
• Lakeview Elementary School teacher Jeryn Toops,
•Intermediate School teacher Peyton Adams,
• Junior High School teacher Tammy Zylman, and
• High School teacher and Scholar Institute Program Director Aaron Williams.
Chamber Ambassador President Ally Greenville received the “Kathy Kendrick Award” for her enthusiastic and selfless volunteerism, benefiting the Cedar Creek Lake area,
“She welcomes new businesses into the community and hosts ceremonial ribbon cuttings for new Chamber members,” said presenter Gun Barrel City Chamber Chair Scott Six.
Greenville is an active Kiwanis member, serving both as a board and committee member. She is seen regularly at chamber fundraisers such as the car show, luau and business expo.
Joy Long was named Ambassador of the Year by Greenville for faithful service as a member of the Ambassadors program for many years. “She has been an outstanding advocate for our growing chamber and has been involved by stepping up and volunteering at chamber-sponsored events including the awards banquet, community clean-up day, new teacher luncheon, ribbon cuttings and business after hours,” Greenville explained.
Marty Mullins named Tate Cramm as the “Volunteer of the Year for the Ambassador” program for attending ribbon cuttings, serving on fundraising committees, and being a good representation as the “face of the chamber.”
“He rarely misses a ribbon cutting or event and steps up when called upon for committee work, fundraising opportunities and goes above and beyond to make sure he represents the chamber in a positive and productive way,” said Mullins.
Chamber President Jo Ann Hanstrom named B. G. Pierce for the “President’s Hall of Fame Award.”
“This award is for a company or individual that may be ‘under the radar’ so to speak, in their support for the chamber,” Hanstrom explained.
Pierce was honored for his steadfast support for the chamber over the years, doing tasks behind the scenes, moving the chamber office three times and participating in events for more than 10 years with time and fundraising.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 2, 2017

Teri Caswell (left) of Faith in Action receives personal care items from the Henderson County Republican Club members, represented by President Anne Sherrill and Caron and Delbert Yelsma.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Henderson County Attorney Clint Davis brought an entertainment slide presentation going over the changes in recent gun laws to educate members of the Henderson County Republicans Club at their monthly dinner meeting Jan. 26 at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant in Gun Barrel City.
Texas is one of 15 states requiring a license to carry a handgun beyond one’s private property, 30 other states do not require one, Davis said.
Those qualifying for a handgun license are Texas residents for at least six month, the age of 21 or over without any felony convictions, and certified during a 4-6 hour gun safety class.
Non-license holders may have guns at their home or property properly stored without access to any under the age of 17. If carried in your vehicle or watercraft, it must be concealed. And the person in possession of a handgun must not be engaged in the commission of a crime greater than a Class C. (This excludes speeding tickets, Davis explained.) A charge of D.W.I is considered a Class A or B Misdemeanor and would be a problem for a non-licensed handgun holder. Also, you must not be a criminal gang member and have a handgun in your vehicle, Davis said. They are lawful to have while hunting or fishing.
No guns whatsoever are allowed at amusement parks, places of worship, courts, polling places, at any meeting of a governmental body, sporting events, race tracks, any federal property (including Post Offices), on public transportation, bars and night clubs where 51 percent of their revenues come from the sale of alcohol, hospitals, nursing homes and airports, unless checked and unloaded.
CHL holders may carry any caliber, open or concealed, holstered in belt or shoulder belt. Carrying in the hand is not allowed. CHL is a proper form of ID. There is no limit to the number of guns being carried in holsters on waist or shoulder belts.
Guns may be carried at public universities; not on junior colleges until Aug. 1, this year to give time for colleges to establish reasonable rules.
Businesses and Private Property may forbid guns by posting one of two signs with specified language in a conspicuous place in block lettering one-inch high in both English and Spanish. Signs preventing open carry are specified by statute 30.06 and those preventing concealed carry is 30.07. Absolutely no unlicensed gun carrier is allowed to carry into businesses selling alcohol. Also, a business owner may give personal notice to someone through speech or handing them a small lettered notice, such as a calling card. Employees of such businesses may carry their guns in their vehicles but not in company-owned vehicles if they have a policy against the possession of guns on their premises.
Government can’t limit guns in mixed-use buildings, only in the courtrooms or meeting rooms in those buildings. The Attorney General handles gun complaints, adjudicates them and collects a hefty fine for their trespass. Seems a bit self-serving, Davis pointed out.
Look for more proposed bills regarding guns, especially from those in support of constitutional carry, which means no license should be necessary to carry, he said.