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Les Cockrell: Serve Denton plans Wheeler event

Serve Denton has planned a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wheeler Center at 10 a.m. Friday.

The 4,000-square-foot facility at 821 N. Elm St. is scheduled for major construction and renovation to create rent-free, shared office space for four nonprofit organizations, a nonprofit health clinic and a homeless shelter for women and children.

“This new facility will truly make a long-term difference in many lives, as less-fortunate families will get a second chance through this special facility,” Patrick Smith, Serve Denton board secretary, said in a news release.

The facility will have rooftop solar panels that will provide electricity, and energy-efficient appliances.

For more information or to volunteer with Serve Denton, visit .


Red Cross plans area blood drives

American Red Cross blood drives are planned for Friday at Sanger High School and Saturday at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Denton.

Sanger High is at 100 Indian Lane, and hours for the drive are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church is at 300 W. Oak St., and that drive will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Eligible donors of all blood types are needed, and donors with blood types O-negative, O-positive, A-negative and B-negative are especially needed.

Donors must have generally good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with a completed parental consent form). Call 1-800-733-2767 or visit  for more information or to make an appointment.


Blood drive to aid staff member’s daughter

Veracity Research Company Investigations will host a blood drive in support of a staff member’s daughter from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at 111 Dallas St. in Argyle.

A Carter BloodCare bus will be at the event. Parking will be available and lunch will be provided for donors.


Alumni association beer tasting on tap

The Denton Chapter of the University of North Texas Alumni Association is sponsoring an Oktoberfest beer tasting at the alumni pavilion at Apogee Stadium at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The event will raise money for scholarships.

There will be an oom-pah band led by UNT students and tastings of several German beers and locally brewed soft drinks.

The event is open to the public, and seating is limited. Cost is $25 per person. To reserve tickets or for more information, visit .

The UNT football team is playing at Kansas State University on Saturday night.


Texas Outdoor Family camping workshop set

A Texas Outdoor Family camping workshop is planned for 9:30 a.m. Saturday to noon Sunday at the Johnson Branch Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

Activities will include kayaking, geocaching and fishing, and there will be time for family swimming, organizers said.

All camping gear is provided. Each family will be assigned a campsite near restrooms with hot showers, and each campsite has access to water and electricity.

Cost is $65 for a family of up to six people.

To make a reservation, call 512-389-8903.

For more information, visit  and search for “Texas Outdoor Family.”


Democrats plan fundraiser Saturday at fairgrounds

The Denton County Democratic Party will have a “DonkeyFest” fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the North Texas State Fairgrounds, 2217 N. Carroll Blvd.

Tickets cost $25 for adults and teens, and $5 for children 12 and younger.

The event will feature a live auction, music and a barbecue dinner. Candidates for state and county posts will attend, as well as party clubs.

Tickets will be available at the gate. Visit  for more information.


Hike, ranger talk to be offered at state park

A hike and a ranger talk are planned for Saturday at the Isle du Bois Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

The hike will begin at 9 a.m., and participants should meet at the Hawthorn campground area.

“Black Bears of Texas” will be the topic for the ranger talk, set for 2 p.m. at the park’s interpretive center.

The programs are free with regular park admission, which is $7 for individuals 12 and older. For more information, call 940-686-2148.


Learning area offers tours of log home

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area will have an open house at the Minor-Porter Log House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The event will include instruction on making a corn husk doll.

Volunteers will provide tours of the log house, which has been completely restored and furnished with all the trappings of Denton County frontier life, circa 1870.

Admission is free with regular gate admission of $5 per person (free for children 5 and younger).

For more information, visit  or call 972-219-3930.


‘Painting with a Purpose’ fundraiser scheduled

The Heritage Health Solutions Academic Excellence Foundation will present a “Painting with a Purpose” fundraiser from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Painting with a Twist, 5810 Long Prairie Road, Suite 600, in Flower Mound.

Cost is $45, which includes canvases, paint, easels, aprons and refreshments.

The foundation is dedicated to supporting veterans, and will begin offering scholarships to the children of disabled veterans and parents who died while on active duty.

For more information, visit  or call 972-691-8386.


Free program on autism offered at library

A free program that is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Emily Fowler Central Library will offer parents information about autism.

The program will be presented by Nicole Caldwell, a doctoral student in educational psychology at the University of North Texas.

Caldwell’s presentation will include information on the characteristics of autism, pertinent statistics, and types of treatments and interventions that have been found to be effective.

Local and national resources for information and support will be discussed.

No registration is required. The library is located at 502 Oakland St. 

For more information, call 940-349-8718.

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 .