Posted by : June 22, 2014| On :
Special to The Monitor
PINNACLE CLUB–Already folks are starting to plan their July 4 celebrations around The Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake air show, whose title sponsor is Amber Di’Lane Homes.
Since its thrilling debut in 2007, the pilots of vintage military aircraft, along with the daring of biplane pilots and others have entertained visitors and residents alike. Their flyby stunts over the water have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for military charities.
This year promises to be just as dramatic with the action beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 5. VIP seating is staged on the shores of the Pinnacle Golf & Boat Club for $50.
Key sponsors of this year’s show include The Boat Shop, Tri-County Ford and Teague Chevrolet.
A luau-themed Pilots Party is set for 7 p.m. Friday, July 4. Admission is $20 for adults and $12 for children.
Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake is the fifth largest air show in the southwest and the only one completely over water.
And it all began with Pinnacle Club residents Jennifer and Randy Ball.
Randy, a 23-year air show veteran, is passionate about flying and owns a Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich jet, a MiG-17 (doesn’t everyone?).
Randy was flying home after a July 4th air show at Tinker Air Force Base in 2005 and had fuel for a few flybys before returning to the airport in Tyler.
Internationally known with an unlimited jet aerobatic rating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Randy flew over his house to say “hi” to Jennifer and their guests, who were sitting outside.
He came in loud and low and was noticed by more then their guests! The neighbors and others described the “wave” as an exciting holiday adventure!
Some neighbors got together and requested Randy do a flyby over the lake on the next July 4.
He agreed and he invited several other air show professionals in their planes.
By now, lots of Pinnacle residents were asking if he would do it for a third year.
Randy made a comment about the price of gas going up and wasn’t sure how many people he could recruit to donate their expenses.
Pinnacle Club residents said they would help, including Forest Smith who held a “Save Our Show (SOS) Party.”
He collected money and assisted the Balls recruit residents to house the pilots and their families after Randy said it would be good to give our military people a taste of home.
Pinnacle Club residents went all out, taking the pilots and their families boating on the lake, golfing and swimming at the club.
And the air show was born.
Randy and Dwight “DC” Campbell, a retired Air Force pilot, were able to get our Air Show to be a qualified event for Air Force participation.
Campbell donates time and effort in the hot sun at Tyler to get the air show planes on schedule for the show.
The Air Force became a huge part of program after an aerial estimation showed that roughly 40,000 people on the water and along the shorelines were watching the show.
When wounded soldiers were being sent home from the Iraq war, Randy used the Air Show to help raise money to support a Fisher House in Dallas.
Military families can stay for free at Fisher House, if their military family member is being treated and they live more than a certain number of miles away.
Randy and Smith formed the Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation (CCVF) to manage all of these projects and it quickly became a main fundraiser for the Fisher House.
Pinnacle Club resident Mark Fankhauser oversaw the legal requirements and former Pinnacle Club resident Bob O’Neil was named the foundation’s first president. Outside sponsorships were obtained, allowing CCVF to donate a significant amount of money to the opening of the Fisher House.
In 2010, an annual golf benefit was added to boost the amount the foundation could donate, with Pinnacle Club resident Gayle Robinson taking on the project, assisted by Elaine Bownes. A feature of the golf tournament honors local and Texas veterans with special recognition and gratitude.
The CCVF board decided to give the air show an official name to attract more visitors, and the air show was named Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake.
After the Fisher House opened, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the Hope for the Warriors charities were added as beneficiaries.
More than 90 percent of the monies these charities receive go to veterans who are dealing with physical or emotional issues after returning home from war, that’s why they have received an A-plus rating. CCVF received the seal of approval from the Independent Charities of America.
CCVF is dependent upon its volunteers and financial sponsors to pull off this great event and benefit veterans in a meaningful way.
For more information about Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake, go to www.cclairshow.com.
For more information about the Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation, go to www.ccveteransfoundation.org.
Posted by : June 22, 2014| On :
Special to The Monitor
ENNIS–The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), Chapter 1191, held their June monthly meeting in Ennis.
Texas Cemetery Restoration graphic illustator and craftsman Daniel Kieninger spoke about the mission of Texas Cemetery Restoration and how it began by owner James “Rusty” Brenner.
The Texas Cemetery Restoration company mission is to offer exceptional conservation, preservation and restoration services to individuals and cemetery associations for their cemetery and monument restoration projects.
It includes cemetery assessments, leveling, cleaning, and repair of damaged or broken monuments.
Almost all of the work is done on-site at the cemetery, rarely are monuments removed from the cemetery for preservation. This is to ensure the monuments are not exposed to any more risk from handling and transporting than is necessary.
The architectural designers generate a cemetery map in AutoCad, drawing existing grave locations, tombstones, structures, roads, trees, other cemetery features, and finally new burial locations.
They assign grave reference locations on the map for reference to the corresponding database, and also create an expandable database that is referenced to the global positioning system (GPS) cemetery map.
The database can be generated into several user friendly programs for easy grave identification information for cemetery record personnel.
Texas Cemetery Restoration has more than 15 years experience in monument conservation.
Brenner began the monument preservation business while working as a teenager with his father at his monument company in Crockett.
He fell in love visiting old cemeteries, photographing old tombstones and learning about the history of the people who settled this land and made it home.
When Brenner was about 19 years old, he felt someone needed to preserve the beautiful monuments that memorialized our ancestors and created Texas Cemetery Restoration.
For more information on cemetery preservation, call Daniel Kieninger or Rusty Brenner at (214) 686-0014.
For NARFE membership information, call (903) 874-3092.
Posted by : June 19, 2014| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake held an open house Saturday to acquaint the community with its facilities, volunteers, board members and new shelter executive director Colleen Tapia June 14.
Tapia will focus on reuniting lost pets with their owners, increase pet adoptions and the transporting of animals to rescue groups.
She also wants to increase the number of active volunteers at the shelter by speaking to community groups on the many ways area residents can help.
“I’m eager to meet with the many strong groups in this area,” Tapia said.
Toward those ends a number of monthly get togethers and networking opportunities are set for the lunch hour, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points on Wednesdays, June 18, July 16 and Aug. 20.
Volunteer orientations are held from time to time. All are also welcome to attend board meetings, which are held at 6 p.m. the fourth Tuesday, check the website or call (903) 432-3422 for the location. It changes monthly.
A special benefit event Rollin’ Round Quarter Auction is set for Sunday, July 20 at the Optimist Community Room, 410 John Thomas in Seven Points from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
If you missed the open house held at the animal shelter Saturday, check out the shelter’s website at www.hsccl.org. Select the Adoptable Pets tab to meet the residents at the shelter, awaiting selection as a companion.
Volunteer Kristi Robeson adds new photos to the Facebook page regularly. When you Like or Share posts, it increases the likelihood of shelter dogs and cats being adopted.
Fostering opportunities also abound. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The shelter also keeps an active wish list for useful items at www.tinyurl.com/HSCCLwish. Or use www.adoptashelter.com, prior to making any online purchase; to share the benefits with the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake.
The shelter also welcomes the donation of the following items used daily: bleach, (He) laundry soap, paper towels, toilet paper, antibacterial dish soap, heavy duty 40-gallon, 3-ply trash bags and 13-gallon kitchen bags, canned dog food (lamb or chicken & rice), dry cat food, kitty litter, kitten and puppy milk supplement.
Replacement items include shop and fiber brooms, squeegee heads, commercial mop heads, long-handled scrub brushes, towels, dust pans, especially commercial grade stand-up dust pans; color and black ink cartridges for HP 564.
Other needed items from time to time are cat houses and trees, Kuranda dog beds, stainless steel dog and cat bowls, washer and dryer, utility van for animal transport.
Schools, businesses or groups may sponsor a supply drive; for information contact the shelter at email@example.com.
The organization is qualified with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charity, so all donations are tax deductible.