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Karina Ramirez - DRC

Karina Ramírez: Frenchy van goes pink for breast cancer awareness

On Monday, Andre J. “Frenchy” Rheault showed up to his Dallas Drive van corner, complete with his pink shirt, ’80s-themed glasses and a cowboy hat.

He would not say why he had invited his wife, Teri Rheault, Bette Sherman, a breast cancer survivor, and Linda Luster and Barb Young of On the Cuff Embroidery, along with members of Frenchy’s staff and other guests. Even Mr. Sunshine, Teri’s service dog, was present.

They all received pink hats and waited for an announcement, which would come around 11 a.m.

Twenty minutes later, one of his drivers drove a pink van to the popular corner. It had a message that read, “THIS IS FRENCHY & TERI’S BREAST CANCER AWARENESS VAN DEDICATED TO TERI’S MOM, MARY DOWNEY.”

Downey passed away March 19, 2006, at the age of 76.

“I think it is a great idea. I think it is really sweet of him to dedicate it to my mom,” Teri said. “He didn’t tell me anything about it until it was kind of a done deal.”

The van will be used to advertise breast cancer awareness functions and other community news.

“I think it is fabulous,” said Sherman, one of the founders of the You’re Beautiful Luncheon. “As usual, Frenchy is doing things for the community. He and Teri do so much. We are grateful for them.”

This is not the first time Rheault has changed the color of his popular orange vans to celebrate or commemorate special events. His first van in 1975 was yellow, a year after he started his lawn business. At one point, he said he owned a red, white and blue van.

Rheault switched to his signature orange color in the 1990s. Since then, people around town are used to seeing the messages displayed daily, and when they don’t see them, he gets a call.

Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree Service is located at 600 S. Elm St.

For more information, visit .


Links Construction’s latest renovation project includes the University of North Texas’ new basketball practice facility on Bonnie Brae Street. The 9,550-square-feet building will house both the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

The company said in a  news statement that work on the facility began in August.

Interior renovations include updating the the old stage area, kitchens and all mechanical items from the structure’s former days as Liberty Christian School. All new heating, air systems and a new electrical lighting system were also installed, a press release said.

Other features include a wooden basketball floor featuring UNT logos, along with new padding around the court. The gymnasium’s interior also received a steel structure and a new ceiling. Also, there is new wall sheeting throughout, as well as new interior roofing insulation, the press release said.

All doors now feature controls for 24-hour players-only access, in compliance with NCAA regulations.

Links Construction’s project is managed by Scott Beedle, a University of North Texas graduate.

Rick Villarreal, UNT’s director of athletics, said in a news statement that the renovations will provide student athletes with a great facility.

It will also help attract top-level recruits in the future, he said.

Links Construction is located at 525 S. Loop 288, Suite 105.

For more information, visit .


In response to readers’ requests about how to get in contact with Sears after the closing of their portrait studio last week, Howard Riefs, director of corporate public relations, said Wednesday that customers need to go to the store and ask for the manager on duty.

“Tell them what the issue is and they should be able to assist you,” he said.

Customers can also call 800-549-4505.



Catherine Shuler joined Dallas-based Michael A. Burns and Associates as an account executive last fall.

Shuler will support the agency’s media relations and social media campaigns. Her responsibilities range from building an online presence for clients to managing social media programs to generating press coverage for the agency’s hospitality and home-furnishings clients. She also supports special event initiatives and trade shows.

Shuler graduated from the University of North Texas’ Mayborn School of Journalism with a bachelor’s in public relations and a minor in Spanish in 2012.

Along with Shuler, MB&A also hired Rachel Kaufman, a graduate of the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s in political science and journalism, as a staff writer and Sidney Owallah, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, as a Web engineer.

Founded in 1989, Michael A. Burns & Associates Inc. is a strategic communications firm specializing in business-to-business, branding and creative services.

For more information, visit .


Last month, Tony Robinson was sworn in as new FEMA Region 6 administrator.

Robinson has been with FEMA since 1987. He previously served as Region 6 deputy administrator and as recovery division director, in which he was responsible for the administration of recovery programs in the five states that make up the region — Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.


Coming up

If you have not started your spring cleaning, Meridian Bank Texas will be conducting a Shred Day from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at 1013 W. University Drive.

Personal and confidential documents will be accepted.

A $10 suggested minimum donation will be accepted, and it will benefit the United Way of Denton County.

Denton County Transportation Authority continues it open house events to offer an opportunity to discuss August 2013 service modifications, share the agency’s long-term service plans and provide rail safety material and other information.

From 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday the agency will have a meeting to discuss those issues at the Lewisville Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main St., and again from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Downtown Denton Transit Center, 604 E. Hickory St.

For more information, email .


Denton restaurant Genghis Grill will help University of North Texas Galleries earn “bowls of money” when patrons eat there from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 1.

The “bowl” theme refers to how the Mongolian stir fry restaurant’s food is served, and the fundraiser gives a percentage of the day’s sales to the university’s galleries. Customers need to mention “UNT Galleries” so that a portion of their checks will be donated.

Proceeds will go to support exhibitions in the UNT Art Galleries, to pay for costs of getting artworks to the gallery and installing them for public display, said Tracee Robertson, director of galleries, in a news statement.

Genghis Grill is at 2416 Lillian Miller Parkway, Suite 100.

For more information, call 940-535-7027.


Continuum Rehabilitation Hospital in Flower Mound will conduct a second anniversary celebration from 1 to 7 p.m. May 14 at 3100 Peters Colony.

Continuum Rehabilitation Hospital offers in-patient rehabilitation and also has a transitional care unit in the same building.

For more information, call 214-513-0310.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878 and via Twitter at @KarinaFRamirez.