Aug

22

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 22, 2014

Monitor Photo/Robyn Wheeler Bearded lady KK Mitchell (front row, from left) visits wiht cotton candy lady Louann Morton, elephant Tonya Carey, bear Amy Ellsberry and (back row) strongman Bruce January.

Monitor Photo/Robyn Wheeler
Bearded lady KK Mitchell (front row, from left) visits wiht cotton candy lady Louann Morton, elephant Tonya Carey, bear Amy Ellsberry and (back row) strongman Bruce January.

“Under the Big Top” grosses $75,000

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake held its 18th Annual Celebrity Waiter fundrasier Aug. 9 at the Athens Country Club.
Rotary Club members, along with more than 200 other community and business leaders, attended the event into the late evening hours, raising a record of more than $75,000.
Guests were treated to live music, a steak dinner, live and silent auctions and lots of opportunities to have fun, dance and socialize with friends and co-workers.
This year’s Celebrity Waiter theme was “Under the Big Top.” Rotary members and guests did not disappoint, showing up in full costume as various circus performers.
Many of them were just clowning around with big red noses and large floppy shoes.
One-of-a-kind costumes included a bearded lady, fortune teller and snake charmer.
The Athens Country Club was decked out with clown and circus-related balloons, streamers and decorations.
Rotary President Erin Osborn and Celebrity Waiter co-chair Andrea Pickens greeted guests with a small bag of cotton candy.
Tables were adorned with brightly colored bowls of gumballs, large suckers and a small box of popcorn.
Guests took advantage of the silent auction by bidding on various items such as golf bags, picnic baskets filled with goodies, paintings, a snow cone kit, glass vase, drill, massage gift certificates, free workouts at Better Body Basics in Seven Points and much more.
Live auction items included a United States Flag flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C., a dove hunt for four, wooden wagon wheel rocking bench, a Big Green Egg cooker, a night at the Dallas Symphony with private guided tour of the Myerson Symphony Hall, a flight over Cedar Creek Lake, a BnR Grill Party Package, Maverick tickets, area rugs donated by Floors4U and much more.
The 2013 Celebrity Waiter raised more than $67,000 which supported community projects such as Klothes for Kids, Reading is Fundamental, Make a Difference Day and sending six students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp.
Community donations included $500 scholarships each to 30 students, $2,500 to Labor of Love, $6,000 to Mabank Area Good Samaritan Food Pantry, $250 to Eustace Toys for Tots, $250 to Kaufman County CrimeStoppers and many other worthy causes.
Individuals, community and business leaders are encouraged to join the Rotary Club at Cedar Creek Lake. Weekly meetings are on Fridays at noon.
For more information, call Rotary President Erin Osborn at (903) 887-7486.
More photos from this event can be found in the Thursday, August 21, 2014 issue of The Monitor.

Aug

17

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 17, 2014

Courtesy Photo Columbia Space Balloon Facility (CSBF) representative Kathleen Smith (from left) stands with NARFE member Bob Kral and Dolores Carter at the Aug. 12 meeting.

Courtesy Photo
Columbia Space Balloon Facility (CSBF) representative Kathleen Smith (from left) stands with NARFE member Bob Kral and Dolores Carter at the Aug. 12 meeting.


Special to The Monitor
TEXAS–Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF)in Palestine representative Kathleen Smith spoke to the National Active and Retired Employees (NARFE) Aug. 12, at the Sirloin Stockade in Corsicana.
The CSBF provides launch, tracking and control, airspace coordination, telemetry and command systems, and recovery services for large (400 foot in diameter) unmanned, high-altitude (120,000 fett) research balloons.
Their customers include National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers, universities, and scientific groups from all over the world. Balloon research provides a low cost alternative to rocket and space shuttle launches and provides flexibility as to launch locations.
CSBF has about 70 employees and conducts 20-25 balloon launches a year from permanent facilities in Palestine, New Mexico, Antarctica and Australia.
Other launches have been made from Sweden, Argentina, Greenland, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand and Sicily.
In more than 40 years of operation more than 2,200 balloon launches have been made for 124 universities and technical institutes. Payloads weigh up to 8,000 pounds.
CSBF was established in Boulder, Colo., in 1961, by the National Science Foundation (NSF)and moved to Palestine in 1963.
In 1982, sponsorship was transferred from the NSF to NASA.
In 1987, NASA’s contract to operate the facility was transferred to the Physical Science Laboratory of New Mexico State University.
The contract is administered by the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility Balloon Program Office.
NARFE Chapter 1191 covers Ellis, Navarro and the adjacent parts of the surrounding counties.
For NARFE membership information, call the Corsicana office at (903) 874-3092.

Jul

24

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : July 24, 2014

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler The Genesis Center Pastor Nancy Schoenle speaks to the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake at the Cedar Creek Country Club July 18.

Monitor Photo/Ronald Wheeler
The Genesis Center Pastor Nancy Schoenle speaks to the Rotary Club of Cedar Creek Lake at the Cedar Creek Country Club July 18.

One-year program helps women get back on their feet

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The Genesis Center in Kaufman Pastor Nancy Schoenle and Genesis Center resident Amanda spoke to Rotary Club members at the Cedar Creek Country Club July 18.
“The Genesis Center is a faith based, shelter for women and children,” Schoenle said.
“We have room for up to 44 residents. Currently, we have 33 women and 13 children,” she added.
The Genesis Center residents seek help and shelter to recover from domestic violence and chemical dependency.
During recovery, women must commit to a structured one-year program which includes regular counseling, working at the Genesis Center thrift store, Twice Around, and assisting with community activities such as painting nails, helping with Bingo at nursing homes and at the chamber of commerce.
“The Genesis Center does not receive any government funding or grants,” Schoenle said.
“Our thrift store provides 50 percent of our funding, and churches, individuals and our fundraisers provide the other half,” she added.
“We are about making them a success and being able to go farther,” Schoenle said.
The Genesis Center offers their services at no cost to the residents; however, residents must obey all the rules and take their recovery seriously.
“We are up at 6 a.m. and when we are not in classes, we are working at thrift store,” Amanda said.
“I am going to college and want to help others do something with their life,” she said.
Residents may work toward earning their GED and attend classes at TVCC during their stay.
On weekends, the residents have free time for movie night, games and relaxing.
“Some residents have never played games with their family before,” Schoenle said.
“When residents leave, many of them continue to have a family night,” she added.
“Years ago it felt like we were putting a Band-Aid on the problem. Now we have a high success rate and other shelters are asking us to help them implement our program,” Schoenle said.
“If our program is not making a substantial change, it is a waste of time,” she added.
Genesis Center classes are designed around the residents needs and provide essential skills in anger management, life skills, parenting and creating resumes.
The center provides a peaceful and safe environment with 24 hour supervision and camera monitoring in most areas of the facility.
The Genesis Center has added three new offices for their counselors, a new gym, daycare, prayer room and multipurpose room.
With the purchase of the property next door, the center moved their thrift store from the housing facility to make room for more residents.
“The Genesis Center taught me how to live and the support from the classes showed me what I needed to change in my life,” Amanda said.
“They go above and beyond to meet our needs physically, mentally and spiritually. They put us back on our feet,” she added.
Twice Around thrift store is open Monday-Saturday and sells appliances, clothing, books, at discount prices.
The Genesis Center also installed a new septic system which allowed for more bedrooms to be built. Within the next year or two, the center hopes to be able to take in more residents.
“We take in women from all different faiths. Nothing is forced upon anybody. The spiritual aspect helps with building self-esteem but it is not a condition to be there,” Schoenle said.
After graduating, residents may come back to the center to attend year-after-care programs, sit in on classes, and visit with counselors.