Posted by : March 23, 2014
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Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Local Parrot Head Club vice president Tate Cramm (not pictured) and president Robert Render show chamber members the coveted Golden Coconut award the local club received in recognition of their success in building and opening a fishing pier dedicated to active military and veterans at Tom Finley Park, with wheelchair access. The three-year effort was named in memory of Eddie Oehler. The $80,000 Oelher’s Landing is one of the largest charitable projects undertaken by any club in the “Parrot Head Nation,” Render said.
“Flip flop Therapy” day heralds warm weather
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–The Parrot Head Club served as guest speaker at the March luncheon meeting of the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce March 13.
Upon polling those present, about a quarter of the room identified themselves as Parrot Head Club members. Parrot Heads (more than 200 social clubs in America and Canada), raise funds for charitable causes while enjoying a tropical lifestyle emulated by the music of Jimmy Buffett.
“Party with a purpose” is the organization’s motto, local club president Robert Render said. In 2011, Parrot Heads raised $4.1 million and donated 194,000 service hours.
Last year, the Cedar Creek Lake Parrot Head Club completed a three-year project to erect a wheelchair accessible fishing pier to honor active and veteran military personnel at Tom Finley Park.
The effort raised about $80,000 and many members contributed their expertise to its completion, Render said. The pier was named Oehler’s Landing, after philanthropist member Eddie Oehler, who had died. The project was the single largest project in the “Parrot Head nation,” Render said.
As a result, the club gained recognition at the organization’s annual 2013 Meeting of the Minds convention and was awarded the coveted “Golden Coconut” award.
The club also donates five scholarships, to one senior in the amount of $1,000 – one from each area high school.
The club’s biggest fundraiser is set for July 19 – a poker run on the water. Players will get their first hand and clue at Don’s Port Marina and the run will conclude at the yet-to-open Coconuts with live and silent auctions. The event traditionally raises around $20,000, Render noted.
On Oct. 18, the fourth annual Chili and Barbecue Cookoff will be held at Tom Finley Park with $5 entry fee. Money raised will go to the park board to maintain Oehler’s Landing.
The Parrot Heads also provide the Olympic Village for special athletes. This year, the Mabank Special Olympics is set for Saturday, April 12 at Panther Stadium in Mabank.
“We hold events every month,” Render said.
In other business, chamber members:
• recognized BnR Pit Grill as Business of the Month, Mabank Floral & Gifts for providing the flower arrangements in giant margarita glasses as table center pieces, and Cedar Creek Country Club for the themed luncheon, serving sliders and chicken wings. Also recognized was luncheon sponsor First State Bank, which greeted attendees at the door with zippered coin purses, mini note pads and pencils.
• heard the Rotary Club is still accepting grant applications for up to $5,000 for specific needs from the community and has set its golf tournament for Friday, April 25.
• heard Trinity Valley Electric Co-op is also accepting grant applications from nonprofits.
• heard the Kiwanis Club is holding Pancake Day fundraiser from 6 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 26 at St. Peter Lutheran Church at 130 Luther Lane in Gun Barrel City, offering delivery for three or more orders ($6/plate) to a single local address by faxing orders to (903) 432-2415.
• heard member Floors 4U is celebrating five years in business with a fundraiser for Natalie Newman at its Mabank location on Third Street, Friday, April 11.
• heard planning for the annual Cedar Creek Lake Classic Car Show and Kiwanis Krawfish Boil was underway for May 10.
More photos from this event can be found in the Sunday, March 23, 2014 issue of The Monitor.
Posted by : March 20, 2014
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The Talent Box cast members (standing, from left) Brandon Guzman, Kelly Ferris, both of Wills Point, Blaine Brimer of Fruitvale, Harley Hall, James Phillips, both of Wills Point, Dwayne Murr of Cobb, Ronnie Adams of Terrell, (sitting, from left) Elizabeth Vickers of Quinlan, Sue Reid of Terrell, Lisa Reed McKinney of Edgewood and Victoria Meeks of Wills Point perform the final shows of “Harvey” March 21-22.
Final performances of ‘Harvey’ March 21-22
Special to The Monitor
WILLS POINT–The final performances of “Harvey,” are at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, March 21-22. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.
Admission for dinner theatre performance is $17 per person and $10 for children 10 and under when accompanied by an adult.
Admission for regular seating performance is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for children 12 and under. Limited regular seating may be available during dinner theatre performances.
For reservations, call (903) 873-8945 and leave your name, telephone number, date of performance you wish to attend and the number in your party.
Dinner theatre seating reservations must be prepaid and closed Wednesday, March 19. Your call will be returned.
Tickets may also be purchased at www.thetalentbox.org.
Harvey is a play about 47-year-old Elwood P. Dowd, whose best friend is a six foot tall invisible rabbit, named Harvey.
Dowd and Harvey are well known and liked in the taverns around town, but his relatives, who have come to live with him are embarrassed by his behavior and try to have him committed to an asylum.
“Harvey” is directed by Henry Bates of Wills Point and written by Mary Chase.
The Talent Box Theatre is located at 244 N. 4th St. in Wills Point.
Posted by : March 2, 2014
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By David Webb
GUN BARREL CITY–The high cost of smoking tobacco will get even more expensive in 2015 for Gun Barrel City municipal employees who refuse to quit smoking.
The City Council approved a measure Feb. 25 that will penalize city employees who smoke to the tune of $500 per year. Smoking employees will see that amount of money deducted from their paychecks in 26 installments, according to the plan presented by City Manager Gerry Boren.
“It’s a great incentive,” Boren said.
Boren said the money collected from the smoking employees will go to help fund an employee wellness program.
Employees who smoke will be required to view a smoking cessation video in 2014, then in 2015 all employees will be required to sign affidavits under oath stating whether they smoke, Boren said. All employees who answer yes will be assessed the $500 fee, and anyone making a false statement would be subject to the penalties of making a false statement on a government document, he said.
The prohibition will not apply to the electronic vapor cigarettes many people are resorting to in an effort to quit using tobacco, Boren said.
“We believe it is very important to begin a process to encourage our employees to become healthier through a wellness program,” Boren said. “A healthier workforce is a more productive workforce as well.”
Boren said employees now pay $25 per month toward their group health insurance coverage, and that figure will rise by an amount equal to a 10 percent increase in premiums anticipated to be charged by the insurance carrier in the next fiscal year. Employees who participate in the wellness program designed to encourage more exercise, healthier eating and regular medical checkups will be refunded the 10 percent increase in insurance premiums the city plans to pass on to employees, he said.
In other action, the council:
• gave final approval to the Economic Development Corp.’s incentives agreement with HomeTown Cinema to reopen the Heritage Park theater after a second reading of the resolution. Boren praised everyone who participated in bringing about the theater’s planned reopening.
“This took team work, not only from the Economic Development Corp. but the council as well,” he said. “Thanks to everybody for the teamwork and getting everything done.”
• passed an ordinance prohibiting the overnight parking of big transportation trucks and trailers on city streets. The prohibition will not apply to private parking lots, where the owners of the property are responsible for parking restrictions. Signage will be installed at entrances to the city to notify the drivers of transportation rigs about the parking ordinance. “We want to stop this before it gets into the residential areas,” Boren said. He noted big trucks and trailers are now being parked overnight on business side streets, and that will no longer be allowed.
• rejected two bids for drainage improvements in the Church Street Development Area because both exceeded the city’s $90,000 budget. One was for $245,000 and the other was for $130,734. The proposed improvements will be redesigned in an effort to decrease the cost, and they will be undertaken in two phases instead of one.
• heard a second reading of the voluntary annexation of 61 acres of land owned by the city’s Economic Development Corp.
• proclaimed April as Fair Housing Month in connection with Texas Community Development Grant Funds requirements.
• accepted the city’s racial profiling report that showed no violations.
• conducted the first reading of the Town Center Development project by the Economic Development Corp. that will make improvements to Heritage Park and Harbor Point. The project will be limited to $60,000 in expenditures.
• learned that the City Park improvements met guidelines established by the Texas Wildlife and Parks Department and the city’s $25,000 retaining fee for the park improvement grant would be returned.