Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 28, 2018

Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–The Kaufman County Junior Livestock Show and Fair continues this week at the fairgrounds at 4001 S. Washington St. in Kaufman with livestock showings in the Bill Tackett Memorial Arena. Livestock show exhibitors will start kicking up sawdust in the Bill Tackett Memorial Arena with showings on Thursday and Friday. Admission is $5 per car and benefits Kaufman County youth.
Starting Thursday, a carnival and several concerts begin. The Jack Nelson Band performs on Thursday at 8 p.m., local sensation and America’s Got Talent star Kadie Lynn will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, followed by The Acoustic Sound Hounds at noon Saturday.
“The Show Board has made some improvements to our barn and Women’s Building that we hope you will come and check out. We continue to grow every year and appreciate all of the hard work our kids from across the county have put in on their projects,” Board Member Chad Jones said. “Come join us this week to see for yourself!”
Visit https://kcjls.com/ for a schedule of events.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : December 27, 2017

Assistant National Commodore Robert Nelson (from left) looks on as 2018 Flotilla Commander Allen Harding swears in new members Douglas New, Raymond Smith and Matthew Schnase.

By Denise York
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has its sailing orders to focus on growth in membership in 2018. To that end, it begins 2018 with three new members inducted during the Flotilla 5-14 Change of Watch ceremony held Dec. 16 in Gun Barrel City.
The primary mission of the Auxiliary is to promote and support recreational boating safety which includes assisting in search and rescue efforts, maritime domain awareness, underway operations, marine safety, public education and vessel safety examinations for both recreational and commercial craft. In addition, flotilla members develop specialty skills like to fulfill roles as radio operators, web masters, computer specialists, pilots, public affairs specialists and language interpreters. They serve as a force multiplier for the active duty Coast Guard and assist them during normal and emergency situations in nearly every mission undertaken. A commonly used descriptive title is “America’s Volunteer Lifesavers.”
Assistant National Commodore Robert Nelson addressed the group as the guest speaker, congratulating the flotilla for the past year and warning, “Change is coming, growth is optional.” It is always an honor to come and experience the camaraderie and warm fellowship here, he said. He congratulated the Flotilla for great leadership and asked them, what they were doing to grow. As with most volunteer organizations, membership is key to their success and ability to serve.
Flotilla 5-14 was certified Aug. 3, 1973 and three years later had 40 members with 40 vessels on Cedar Creek Lake. Flotilla 5-14 has a legacy of leadership and excellence, being one of the best trained. But with current membership at 22, Nelson told the group, “Recruiting is paramount,” and challenged incoming Flotilla Commander Allen Harding to develop a plan and then work the plan every day.
Incoming Flotilla 5-14 Commodore Allen Harding further challenged the Flotilla members to “live in a vision, not a circumstance, to be leaders with direction and remember why they joined. We can be the culture of good.”
Three new members were sworn in, having completed training and certification necessary to serve. Douglas New, Raymond Smith and Matthew Schnase were applauded as they swore to support the United States Coast Guard and promote its activities. They were reminded that they are called upon to handle additional responsibilities as they grow.
Marnie Fackler received the membership service award for her husband William “Bill” Fackler, who passed away in July 2017. Fackler was honored for 40 years of dedicated service to the flotilla.
Flotilla Staff for 2018 include Flotilla Commander Allen Harding. Vice Commander Calvin Ogans, Communication Officer David Rist, Finance Officer Robert Schillo, Information Services Officer Chris Daley, Materials Officer Raymond Smith, Program Visitor Roger Hunt, Member Training Officer John Steele, Secretary Christy Parkhurst, Vessel Examinations Officer Robert Capt, Diversity Officer Joe Erwin and Human Resources Officer Sydney Pickup. Harding will also serve as Operations/RSS Officer and Public Education Officer, with Ogans serving as Public Affairs Officer and Marine Safety Officer.
Outgoing Flotilla Commander Robert Schillo thanked the 2017 staff for dedication and perseverance during a year he called trying. He said he looks forward to more on-the-water capabilities in 2018. He recognized Vessel Examinations Officer Robert Capt with a service performance award for his dedication in performing over 200 vessel safety checks in 2017.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 21, 2017

Fr. Jerry Morriss visits with children of Nicaragua on one of his mission trips last year.

Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Fr. Jerry Morriss, who stepped down as rector of St. James Episcopal Church earlier this year to become the Canon for Rural Church Ministry for the Diocese of Dallas, will be returning to Nicaragua this spring to dedicate a new school and community center. This will be Fr. Morriss’ third trip in the past two years to one of the poorest of the Latin American countries.
During his first trip in 2016, Fr. Morriss met an elderly couple who was in desperate need of a proper home. On his return, with the help of his congregation at St. James, he raised the funds needed to build a new three-room home for the man and his family. Prior to his leaving St. James in January, the congregation donated funds for additional housing. Fr. Morris realized that most small churches can’t accomplish the big projects that some larger churches can, but several small congregations, when banned together, can make a meaningful contribution. With this in mind, Fr. Morriss with the help of Food for the Poor brought together a coalition of churches which has taken on a major project. The San Rafael del Sur project consists of 39 furnished homes, a school and a community center. The project also includes a drinking water system, sanitation, fruit trees and livestock.
The buildings are built on a cement foundation, using concrete blocks and are designed to withstand a Class 4 hurricane. The homes are built on property owned by the beneficiary, who contributed to the building by providing manual labor along with others in the community.
Food for the Poor is an Interdenominational Christian relief organization serving 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. In the past 35 years, it has built more than 115,000 homes and provided about $10 billion dollars in aid. Clean water projects provide lifegiving water and sanitary sewer systems to hundreds of thousands of people in need. Solar systems are providing power in areas where there is no electricity. Fruit tree projects as well as reforestation programs and aquaculture are adding to self-sustainability for hundreds. One of the primary goals is to help those in need become able to be self-sufficient and productive members of their communities.
Forbes magazine has given an outstanding rating to Food for the Poor for using 96 percent of funds raised for the end beneficiary.
“I have seen the poor, I have visited in the orphanages and I have spent time with the people and I want to do all that I can to share our abundance with those in need,” Fr. Morriss said. “We all know that there is a world out there in need, but until you have walked in those people’s shoes most people can’t really imagine how great the need really is.”
Fr. Morriss said he was aware of some of these things prior to his first visit. But seeing the need first-hand gave him the desire to be a part of Matthew 25 when Jesus said to his followers, “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”
Last year alone utilizing matching funds, over $15 million dollars went into building over 10.000 new homes. Four million dollars was spent on fresh water and sanitation projects. Over 3,600 tractor-trailer loads of materials were provided including 713 trailers of medicines and medical supplies, 149 trailers of clothing and nearly 60 million pounds of assorted food supplies.
Fr. Morriss agreed that these seem to be huge numbers, but he said, “even with all of that, the surface is just being scratched. The recent storms that have ravaged the Caribbean countries in recent weeks has made the need that much greater. I am looking forward to my return to Nicaragua shortly after Easter to see and be a part of the dedication of this project.” Fr. Morriss expressed his appreciation to those in our community who have supported his efforts.