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Les Cockrell: Festival to benefit fire departments set

The 21st annual Mountain Springs Arts, Crafts and Bluegrass Festival is planned Saturday to benefit the Valley View and North Shore volunteer fire departments.

The festival will be held at the Mountain Springs Community Center, located at 173 Mountain Springs Lane, off FM 372, 12 miles southeast of Gainesville.

Arts and crafts booths will be set up under the trees and open at 8 a.m. There is no charge for booth registration, but vendor donations for the fire departments would be appreciated. Proceeds from the Arts and Crafts sales go to the vendors.

Bluegrass music will begin at noon. Bands scheduled to perform this year are Circle Unbroken, Texas Sky, Friends of Myrtle Hood, Mountain Springs Jammers, Band of Faith, Full Quiver and Crossroads, organizers said.

Admission for the bluegrass performances is $5 per person and free for children younger than 12.

Lunch, dinner, and beverages will be available for purchase from the Valley View Fire Department. A dessert and bake sale will be presented by the Mountain Springs Quilting Club. The North Shore Fire Department will raffle a new Marlin 30-30 rifle.

A quilt show will be held in the old church section of the Community Center, and members of the Mountain Spring Quilting Club will hold a quilt raffle as part of the benefit.

This year’s contribution is a queen-sized quilt called “Wildflower Rhapsody.” Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

“Feeding the Flock” cookbooks, featuring recipes from quilting club members, will be available for $10 each.

For more information, call Colleen Clark Carri at 940-665-9204 or 817-999-9551. To register for an arts and crafts booth, call Shareen Howard at 940-612-1910 or Lisa Prier at 817-266-5511.


Essay contests for area students announced

Members of Post 2205 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary have announced the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay contests.

Information packets have been sent to area high schools and middle schools, and applications are available at the schools, according to a news release from Post 2205.

The Voice of Democracy competition has been a VFW scholarship program since 1947, and each year more than 50,000 high school students compete for more than $2.3 million in scholarships and incentives, the news release stated.

The contest is open to students in ninth through 12th grades enrolled in public, private or parochial schools or a home-school program in the United States, its territories or in an overseas U.S. military school. Foreign exchange students age 20 or older or previous Voice of Democracy first-place winners are not eligible to compete.

Entries must be written and recorded on cassette with no background noise or enhancements. The essay cannot contain the student’s name, address, grade level or nationality, according to the news release.

This year’s theme is “Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?” The entry must be turned in to Post 2205 by midnight Nov. 1. The winner will advance to district competition.

The Patriot’s Pen competition is for students in sixth through eighth grades. A 300- to 400-word typewritten essay on this year’s theme, “What I Would Tell American’s Founding Fathers,” must be turned in by midnight Nov. 1 to Post 2205.

For more information, call VFW Post 2205 at 940-387-2205.


Chapter sponsors fundraising golf tourney

Chapter 920 of Vietnam Veterans of America of Denton is sponsoring the eighth annual Jerry Alexander Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday.

Registration fee is $400 per team, and proceeds support the chapter’s community projects.

The four-person scramble will get under way at 8 a.m. at Northern Challenge Golf Club, located five miles west of Sherman on U.S. Highway 82.

Prizes will include $500 for first place, $400 for second place, $300 for third place, $75 for the longest drive and $50 for closest to the pin, according to an event announcement. Mulligans and door prizes will be available at registration and food and beverages will be provided.

For more information, call Gary Raines at 214-662-3082, Bill Robertson at 940-465-8226, the chapter at 940-387-9920 or visit .


Sanger Public Library to play host to program

The Sanger Public Library will have a program on fall gardening at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Iris Cromartie and Carol Rowley, Denton County master gardeners, will lead the program. Among featured topics will be the Earth-Kind landscaping method, which can help reduce water, energy and pesticide use and reduce the amount of lawn wastes going into landfills.

Registration is not required, but those who plan to attend the class are asked to contact the library so there will be handouts for all participants.

The library is located at 501 Bolivar St. in Sanger. Contact the library at 940-458-3257 or .


Center to have free outdoor concert Friday

Full Gospel Family Worship Center in Denton will have a free outdoor concert Friday.

Gates open at 6 p.m., and the concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

Full Gospel Family Worship Center is located at 209 Mockingbird Lane in Denton. Tickets are available at no cost through the church office at 940-382-1822.


Plans announced for Soap Box Challenge

The Pilot Point Cabinet Makers have announced plans for the second annual Soap Box Challenge to be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 13 in conjunction with the annual Bonnie and Clyde Festival.

The contest will be held in downtown Pilot Point and will feature side-by-side, free-wheel racing by participants ages 6-12 in traditional soap box cars, as well as a modified, “run-what-you-brung” class, according to a news release from event organizer Buster Chandler, owner of Chandler’s Custom Cabinets.

Members of the Pilot Point Cabinet Makers are business people from more than two dozen cabinet shops and related businesses in the Pilot Point area who support community projects.

For more information and entry forms, call Chandler at 940-686-5770.


Volunteers needed to train to help with tax program

The AARP Tax Aide Program will be offered again this year at the Denton Senior Center, and volunteers are needed to help with the free tax preparation service.

A total of 525 families were helped last year, and officials hope to increase that number this year.

In addition to volunteers, an additional computer is needed. Training is starting, and anyone who would like to help with the program should contact Don Watson at or 972-620-7594.


Don’t forget

Staff members from the Denton County MHMR Center will be serving ice cream from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream at 2900 Wind River Lane, Suite 148.

The center will receive a percentage of orders served during the two-hour fundraiser.

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 .