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Les Cockrell: Students raise money to provide wheelchair lift

A recent community service project by students from Northwest Lineman College in Denton provided a wheelchair lift for Blue Sky therapeutic riding center in Cross Roads.

Students conducted a raffle to raise money for the project and presented center volunteers with an oversized check for $1,000 to buy the lift, a center spokeswoman said in an e-mail. The students also reworked the center’s mounting platform and installed the new lift.

The lift will allow wheelchair users to mount their horses safely and will make it possible for more riders to participate in therapeutic riding at Blue Sky, the e-mail stated.

Blue Sky is a member center of Path International, conducts weekly riding lessons throughout the year and competes in challenged rider events around the state.

The center has an all-volunteer workforce, with members from Denton, Aubrey, Cross Roads and Pilot Point.

The center serves special-needs riders from these towns, as well as Frisco, Plano and Dallas.

Over the past year, students from Northwest Lineman College have participated in several activities at Blue Sky, volunteering to help riders at Special Olympic horse shows and working on various barn tasks.

For more information about the riding center, visit

For more information about Northwest Lineman College, visit .



Nelson honored for improving services

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, was recently honored by two organizations dedicated to supporting assisted living providers and residents in Texas, according to a news release from Nelson’s office.

The Assisted Living Federation of America gave Nelson its Statesman Award, and the Texas Assisted Living Association named her 2011 Senator of the Year. The honors were presented in recognition of Nelson’s efforts to promote the care of aging Texans, reduce injuries to the elderly and improve long-term care services, the news release stated.

Nelson has sponsored legislation creating a volunteer program to assist families in the care of their elderly and has supported a measure to increase awareness of fall prevention and to reduce the cost of fall-related injuries. Under her leadership, the Legislature has passed measures to improve long-term care services and to increase consumer access to related information.

The Assisted Living Federation of America and its Texas affiliate, the Texas Assisted Living Association, advocate on behalf of assisted living facilities and residents.

Nelson represents District 12, which includes portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is chairwoman of the Senate committee on health and human services.



New weekly meditation class to be offered

A weekly meditation class taught by Jenny Streit-Horn is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Seven Mile Cafe, 311 W. Congress St.

Anyone interested is invited to attend for a suggested donation of $10 per person, or $5 for students and seniors.

For more information, e-mail .



Reorganization meeting scheduled Thursday

A reorganization meeting for Peace Action Denton is planned at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the fellowship hall of Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2200 Bell Ave.

Anyone interested in exploring a range of peacemaking activities, local and beyond, is welcome to attend, a group spokeswoman said.

Light refreshments will be available.

Peace Action is a grassroots organization that addresses issues related to peace and justice. The Denton chapter is 10 years old and was once awarded a national award for its active membership.

For more information, contact Paul O’Neal at  or 940-595-7435; or Jean or Dawson Tunnell at  or 940-387-9404.



Amateur music group open to new members

An amateur Scottish music group meets once a month in Denton to perform, and those interested in becoming members are invited.

The group usually meets on the third Sunday of each month at a local veterinarian’s office, and the next meeting is planned from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

There are no fees to join. The group features all levels of talent on different instruments, including pipes, violin and guitar.

For more information, e-mail .



Texas Exes planning fall kick-off dinner

Texas Exes of Denton County, the alumni association for the University of Texas, is planning a fall kickoff dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Landmark Grill, 1297 FM407 in Lewisville.

Staley “Bucket Head” Faulkner, a tackle on the 1963 national championship Longhorns football team, is scheduled to be the featured speaker for the event.

A raffle to benefit scholarships for Denton County students is also planned.

Admission is free, and all UT graduates and friends are invited. Participants are encouraged to bring photographs from their years in Austin.

The group also will collect school supplies for PediPlace, a nonprofit pediatric clinic in Lewisville.

For more information, call 940-387-7669 or visit



Studio announces new beginning class

The Denton Bridge Studio, a nonprofit organization formed five years ago to offer lessons and games for all skill levels, has announced a new beginning bridge class.

The first lesson, which is free, will be from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 5 at the Denton Bridge Studio, 625 Dallas Drive.

Cost for the remaining six two-hour sessions is $65, and study materials are $35.

The class will be taught by Jo Bryan, a finalist for 2010 National Bridge Teacher of the Year.

The goal of the Denton Bridge Studio is to promote bridge by helping each person learn and enjoy the game.

For more information, visit  or contact Bryan at 972-804-9042 or .

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 .