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Les Cockrell: Grant to help feed homeless in community

The CoServ Charitable Foundation recently awarded a $12,330 grant to the Denton Community Food Center to benefit Our Daily Bread, a local soup kitchen.

The funds will be used to provide two nutritious snack-pack meals each Friday for homeless individuals, so they will have meals to eat over the following weekend.

Our Daily Bread is serving the needs of 452 homeless people with these snack packs, a news release states, and the soup kitchen also serves hot, nutritious meals to the hungry Monday through Friday and facilitates referrals for other services to those in need.

Snack packs consist of meals that will withstand heat or cold and do not need refrigeration. Items in snack packs include granola bars, dried fruit, crackers and Vienna sausages or tuna.

In warm-weather months, each snack pack includes two bottles of water. If it’s excessively hot, four bottles of water are included.

Dennis Engelke, executive director of the foundation, presented the grant and said the company is proud of its partnership with the food center.


Denton competitors take honors at statewide Road-E-O

Several participants representing the city of Denton took first-place honors in their respective categories at the Texas chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America’s statewide 2012 Road-E-O recently.

The city of Denton Solid Waste and Recycling Department was the host of the event, which featured more than 75 participants representing 14 cities and one private firm competing for first, second or third place in 11 event categories.

Denton competitors who took first place in their categories were: side load, Oliver Brazier; front load, Stanley Flores; landfill mechanic, Mark Bartek; articulated dump truck, Rodney Weyer; articulated rubber tire loader, Brian Rushing; dozer, Arturo Garcia; and compactor, Bert Woods.

Woods also was a “Top Gun” winner in the landfill category.

In addition to encouraging a spirit of competition and goodwill, the Road-E-O promotes professionalism and safety on the part of drivers, operators and mechanics in the field of solid waste management.

More than 250 competitors and spectators gathered at the Denton landfill for this year’s competition.

To compete in the Road-E-O, participants had to either win or finish second in their city competitions.

Arts group plans reception for annual exhibition

The Visual Arts Society of Texas will have the opening reception for its annual “Members Exhibition” at 6:30 p.m. today at the University of North Texas’ Cora Stafford Gallery, 1120 W. Oak St. in Denton. Admission is free.

For more information, visit


Blood drive scheduled at Vista Ridge Mall

Carter BloodCare will conduct an “After-Fourth Blood Drive” on Saturday and Sunday at Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville.

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Donors will find the Carter BloodCare station on the mall’s upper level near Dillard’s. For easiest access, donors should enter the mall at Entrance 2.

Each donor will receive a pair of movie tickets.

Potential blood donors can volunteer beginning at age 16 with a parent’s consent, and 17-year-olds can give independently.

All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good general health and present a photo ID.

For information about donor eligibility or to make an appointment, call Carter BloodCare at 1-800-366-2834.

The mall is at Interstate 35E and Round Grove Road.


Watercross event planned in Lake Dallas

The Lake Dallas Watercross Championships will bring personal watercraft racing to Willow Grove Park in Lake Dallas on Saturday and Sunday.

Racing starts at 10 a.m. and runs until about 3 or 4 p.m. both days, a spokesman for the event said.

This year’s race, organized by R5WaterXRacing, will feature ski (stand-up) and runabout (sit-down) personal watercraft reaching speeds in excess of 85 mph as they negotiate a technical, closed-course track that pits racer versus machine and water conditions.

Food vendors will be available, and visitors are invited to bring beach chairs. A $5 gate fee will be charged for each vehicle, and the boat launch will be closed to the public during the event.

First-time racers are welcome to enter the beginner class, and their first race is free.

Willow Grove Park is at 800 E. Hundley Drive in Lake Dallas.

For more information, visit or call 214-498-3592.


Wagner to be featured speaker for luncheon

Dr. Marilyn Wagner, director of the Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning at the University of North Texas, will be the featured speaker at the July 10 hospice family luncheon hosted by Ann’s Haven VNA.

Wagner’s speech is titled “Reinvesting in Life Outside Your Grief.” 

The luncheon will be from noon to 1 p.m. at the Denton Elks Lodge, 228 E. Oak St. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are requested by calling 940-349-5900.


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