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Les Cockrell: Student’s food drive brings in substantial haul

A food drive organized by a fourth-grader at L.A. Nelson Elementary School in Denton has resulted in a generous donation to the Singing Oaks Church of Christ food pantry.

Meghan Pearce, 10, came up with the idea on her own, said her mother, Ivon Pearce.

“Meghan has always had a spirit of helping those in need,” Pearce wrote in an e-mail. “She came home from school one day and told me she wanted to put together a food drive to help kids that are hungry.”

Her daughter also explained that she had already met with Nelson Principal Cecilia Holt about the project.

“Needless to say, I was very proud of Meghan for coming up with the idea and then taking steps to make it happen,” Pearce said.

Plans for the drive were coordinated with Nelson Assistant Principal Caleb Leath and with the Tarrant Area Food Bank. A trip was made to Fort Worth to pick up posters, stickers, boxes and bookmarks.

Meghan wanted to send a letter about the drive to every student at the school, Pearce said.

“We then started to call local businesses to see what the cost would be to produce 620 letters,” Pearce stated. “We called the Office Depot in Denton, and the store manager, without hesitation, and without me asking ... said he would be glad to help the community, and he offered to donate the copies.”

The drive was named “Summer Hunger Buster Food Drive,” and it was decided that special theme days would be promoted — pasta day, bean and rice day, peanut butter and jelly day and breakfast day.

“The last day was empty your pockets day, and they collected $76 cash,” Pearce wrote.

Extra cash was added, and the total was used to purchase a cart filled with canned goods.

Daily promotions for the drive were made through the school’s morning news announcements.

“I think the combination of all of that is what helped make the drive successful,” Pearce said. “The result was almost 700 pounds of food.”

The Tarrant Area Food Bank coordinates food drives throughout the county and works with local churches to distribute donations. Don Compton, benevolence minister of Singing Oaks Church of Christ, said the recent donation was greatly appreciated.

“The members of Singing Oaks Church of Christ want to thank Meghan, all the students who participated, Cecilia Hoop, principal, all teachers and staff who helped make this possible,” Compton stated in an e-mail. “This gift makes it possible to increase our food distribution since the pantry is sponsored from the church budget. We are very grateful for this gift.”

Meghan wanted to provide a memento of the drive for each student to remind them that they made a difference. The result was a tag that could be put on student backpacks.

Pearce said her daughter won’t rest on her laurels.

“She’s already thinking of ways to make it bigger for next year,” she said, adding that Meghan also wants to start a club at school that focuses on charitable contributions.

Arc of Denton County schedules clothing drive

The Arc of Denton County will have a clothing drive from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, according to a news release from the agency.

Anyone with gently used clothing they would like to donate can bring bagged items to the far side of the parking lot in front of Fremaux’s Metropolitan Catering, 932 W. University Drive.

There will be a truck on site for donations, and Arc of Denton County representatives will have receipts available.



Special Abilities of North Texas plans open house

An open house is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday at Special Abilities of North Texas, 4845 S. Interstate 35, Suite 100, in Denton.

The event is planned in honor of the organization’s new name, said Troy Geisen, chief executive officer. It was formerly known as Day Stay for Adults.

To make reservations, call 940-383-8371 of e-mail

The nonprofit organization is also selling tickets for a casino-night fundraiser planned for Saturday, May 19, at Chapelle des Fleurs in Flower Mound. Tickets cost $50 in advance or $60 at the door.

In addition to casino games, the event will feature a silent auction and prizes. Volunteers, auction items and sponsorships are needed.

For more information, visit .



Aubrey library to have program on senior care

Geri Sams will present a program titled “Senior Care Options” at 7 p.m. Thursday in the meeting room of the Sanger Public Library, 501 Bolivar St.

The program is free and will offer information about various care options available for seniors who are in declining health.

Reservations are requested to ensure there will be sufficient handouts available.

To reserve a spot, call 940-458-3257, e-mail  or drop by the library.



Annual Red & White Gala set to benefit foundation

The 13th annual Red & White Gala to benefit the Aubrey Education Foundation is planned Saturday at Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses arena, 3732 Shepard Road in Aubrey.

Tickets cost $30, and sponsorships are available.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a silent auction, followed by a barbecue dinner, a live auction and music by Texoma Highway.

The foundation also needs donations for the silent and live auctions.

For more information, e-mail

To purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit .



Weiss to speak during upcoming writer forum

The Friends of the Lake Cities Library will have the first in a series of Distinguished Writers Forums from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 302 Shady Shores Drive.

Each forum will feature a reception and a book signing by a published author who currently lives in one of the four Lake Cities communities or is a former resident.

Dr. Lynn Weiss will be the featured author for the first forum. She will be signing her latest work, I Like Company.

For more information, call 940-497-3566.



Denton Christian Preschool plans banquet

Denton Christian Preschool will have its annual advisory council/volunteer banquet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 7, and something new has been added this year, said Alicia Blanca, assistant principal.

“This year we would like to make it a DCP alumni reunion, as well,” she said. “We would like to get as make of our DCP graduates to attend as possible. We would like to see how they are doing and maybe have some inspiring stories.”

Anyone who was ever a student, volunteer or staff member at the school is invited, she said. A potluck supper will be featured.

Blanca said the event will be held at Erwin Hall at the preschool, which is located at 1114 W. University Drive.

For more information, call 940-383-3332.

LES COCKRELL is interested in your input for Out & About. Help share information about Denton County events and people by calling him at 940-566-6887. His e-mail address is .