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Karina Ramírez: Area companies earn Pacesetter status from United Way

Jaycee Jones, middle, represents Bill Utter Ford as one of four area companies given the Pinnacle Award by United Way campaign chairman Dr. Sheri Dragoo and chairman-elect Greg Sawko during Thursday’s 2012 United Way of Denton County Pacesetter Campaign reception at the University of North Texas.Courtesy photo
Jaycee Jones, middle, represents Bill Utter Ford as one of four area companies given the Pinnacle Award by United Way campaign chairman Dr. Sheri Dragoo and chairman-elect Greg Sawko during Thursday’s 2012 United Way of Denton County Pacesetter Campaign reception at the University of North Texas.
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Denton-area companies were recognized for their contributions as pacesetters during the 2012 United Way of Denton County Pacesetter Campaign reception held at the University of North Texas Gateway Center on Thursday.

The nonprofit recognized 28 local companies and organizations that generated $478,100 in donations and pledges for the local community during the month of August. Participating Pacesetter companies agreed to run their workplace campaigns during the summer and achieve between seven and 12 of United Way of Denton County’s goals through giving, volunteering, special events and other activities.

Bill Utter Ford, DATCU, First State Bank and the Denton County Juvenile Probation Department earned top honors from United Way as Pinnacle Award winners for achieving the highest levels of success in their 2012 campaign efforts, according to a news release.

Gary Henderson, executive director of United Way of Denton County, said that the number of people in need in the county has increased, while donations needed to help communities have decreased.

Last year, United Way of Denton County’s annual campaign raised about $1.8 million. Four years prior, it raised about $2.4 million. Henderson said United Way and their nonprofit partner agencies have also experienced reductions in donations and public funding from local, state and federal sources.

“As a result, we need to achieve a level of fundraising success that has never been achieved before,” Henderson said.

The 2012 Pacesetter companies are:

  • AccessBank Texas
  • Atmos Energy
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Denton County
  • Bill Utter Ford
  • City of Denton
  • Communities in Schools of North Texas
  • Denton County Health Department
  • Denton County Juvenile Probation Department
  • Denton Record-Chronicle
  • Denton Regional Medical Center
  • Eagle & Wheeler
  • First State Bank
  • First United Bank
  • Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree Service
  • Health Services of North Texas
  • John Baines
  • Meridian Bank Texas
  • Merki & Associates
  • Morrison Milling
  • Northstar Bank of Texas
  • Point Bank
  • Sally Beauty Co.
  • Sawko & Burroughs
  • Title Resources
  • United Way of Denton County
  • Wells Fargo

For more information, visit

The city of Denton issued the following certificates of occupancy in August:

  • Couture Fleet Services, auto shop, 805 S. Woodrow Lane
  • Denton Glass Company, glass shop, 3741 Mingo Road, No. 204-205
  • Linwood Roberson Florist, LLC, florist/retail, 2011 Cedar St.
  • Pathway to Health Clinic, medical office, 2412 Old North Road, No. 100B
  • Sign It Drive It, auto sales, 809 S. Woodrow Lane
  • Serendipity On the Square, retail sales, 108 W. Oak St., No. 102

Joining First Cash Advance and Great Clips on Loop 288 is TotalNutrition, a new health store that opened Sept. 5 at 1435 S. Loop 288, Suite 115.

Store manager Alex Davids said business was going pretty well.

TotalNutrition offers products for building muscle, weight loss and overall health maintenance.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 940-343-7072.

Blackberry Passion Fruit, White Chocolate Macadamia and Pumpkin Pie are some of the 95 flavors available inside the Irvine, Calif.-based Yogurtland, a new business that will join Chipotle Mexican Grill, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and others at the Sterling Fry Street Development.

Officials with the Sterling Fry Street development announced last week that a lease was signed the third week of August for a space next to Chipotle. The store will be located at 1201 Hickory St.

No opening date has been announced. 

Yogurtland has locations in Southlake, Carrollton and Dallas, according to its website.

For more information, visit

Officials with Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas announced this week that employees from 12 Workforce centers around the Dallas-Fort Worth area collected 1,000 pounds of food during the month of August.

David Setzer, executive director for Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas, stated in a news release that he was proud of his employees’ efforts.

“This food drive gave our employees an excellent opportunity to give back to their communities,” Setzer said.

The food collected will be donated to several local food banks in the North Texas area. The Shepherd’s Hand in Denton received a little more than 100 pounds of food from the collection.

For more information, visit

Mellow Mushroom is helping end childhood hunger by supporting this year’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

The campaign, through a national program called Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, helps raise funds for children in need by asking consumers to dine out at participating restaurant during the month of Septem­ber.

Funds raised during the campaign bring awareness about child hunger in the U.S.; create public-private partnerships that align kids with the resources they need; support school breakfast, summer and after-school meal programs; and educate kids and their families on how to cook healthy meals with limited resources, according to a press release.

Since its inception, the Dine Out For No Kid Hungry campaign has raised more than $4 million.

In addition to Mellow Mushroom, other local restaurants participating in the fundraiser are Papa John’s Pizza, Genghis Grill, Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.

For a complete listing of restaurants visit
, click on “Find a Restaurant” and type in your ZIP code.

Gerhard and Valrie Pelzer opened their German-themed restaurant, Gerhard’s, on Sept. 8 one block off the Denton Square next to the Campus Theatre.

The restaurant relocated from Roanoke, where it had been for about two years.

For more information, visit

Amyx Fine Jewelry is in the second week of its fourth annual Sterling Silver Catalog Auction Event.

More than 300 pieces of sterling silver jewelry pieces, including antique, vintage, modern and contemporary piences, were brought to the showroom for the event.

Items can be purchased via a markdown schedule.

For example, during the second week of the sale, items are marked down to 60 percent off retail, and 70 percent markdowns are featured from the third until the final week, when items are marked down 90 percent off retail, according to the business’ website.

The event officially began Sept. 5 and continues until Oct. 6.

For more information, visit



Defense lawyer Dan Steppick recently joined Dallas-based Cowles & Thompson as a shareholder. His new practice focuses on the defense of product manufacturers, oil and gas producers, insurance professionals and clients.

Steppick has more than 18 years of experience in both large and small firms, handling a variety of civil matters throughout Texas, according to a news release.

Most recently, Steppick was a partner in Shipman Steppick, a small law firm in Denton where he worked for about five years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The firm dissolved after his partner, Sherry Shipman, won her party’s nomination as Denton County Judge of the 16th District Court, a news release stated.

For more information, visit


Coming up

Bob Williams of Ranch Hand Rescue will address members of the Argyle Chamber of Commerce during the group’s monthly breakfast scheduled at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the Denton Country Club, 1213 Country Club Drive.

Since 2009, Ranch Hand Rescue, has been dedicated to saving farm animals that are about to be seized or have been seized for abuse or neglect.

For more information, call 940-464-9990.


Karina Ramírez can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her email address is