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Les Cockrell: Girl Scouts to serve hot cocoa at tree lighting

Members of Girl Scout Troop 8667 from Aubrey, Denton and Sanger will provide hot cocoa during the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Thursday in downtown Aubrey.

The event, from 6 to 8 p.m., is part of Aubrey’s Hometown Christmas Celebration.

The Girl Scouts held a bake sale at the Aubrey Peanut Festival earlier this year to raise funds to support the cocoa project.

This will be the third year that the girls have served hot cocoa. Last year, troop members served more than 400 cups of cocoa to guests at the tree-lighting ceremony.

Troop 8667 is a group of fifth- and sixth-graders from Aubrey, Denton and Sanger schools.

For information on how to join, volunteer or donate to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, call 1-800-442-2260 or visit or .


Fundraiser planned at restaurant to benefit Arc of Denton County

A fundraiser for the Arc of Denton County is planned from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Hickory Creek’s IHOP restaurant, at 8310 Interstate 35E.

Guests must print out a flier from the organization’s website,, and bring it to the restaurant on the night of the fundraiser. Guests must also purchase a beverage and a meal to receive credit for the organization.

A spokeswoman for the Arc of Denton County said the organization also needs donations of electronic readers to enhance clients’ reading skills. To make a donation, call 972-436-8471.


Krum Public Library offering ‘Food for Fines’ program

The Krum Public Library is offering a “Food for Fines” program to help people eliminate library fines, return items to the library and fill the shelves of Special Touch Food Pantry for the upcoming holidays.

Overdue items can be brought to the library through Saturday. Patrons should stop by the circulation desk or check their library accounts to see what is owed, and for every item donated, the library will deduct $1 from the fine owed, up to $20.

Suggested items for donation include canned food, box mixes, rice, beans, oil, cereals, flour and sugar. Specific needs include peanut butter, canned fruit, canned meats and canned pasta dinners.

Also needed are items such as toilet paper, shampoo, bar soap, laundry detergent, deodorant and razors.

The library cannot accept open or repackaged items, items without labels, home canned goods, expired food, glass containers or dented cans.

Charges for damaged items or lost items are not included in the program. All materials must be returned in good condition for fines to be cleared.

The library is located at 803 E. McCart St. in Krum. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed on Thursday and Sunday. For more information, call the library at 940-482-3455.


Visual Arts Society of Texas to host portrait artist

The Visual Arts Society of Texas will hold its December meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Center for the Visual Arts, 400 E. Hickory St. in Denton.

Guest artist Julie Wende will give a portrait demonstration.

The program is free for member and $3 for guests, payable at the door.

For more information call 972-827-8674 or e-mail .


Swap planned to benefit Explorium Denton project

A toy and book swap is planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at 418 Texas St. to raise money for Explorium Denton.

Residents can bring toys and books that their children have outgrown and exchange them for other items. All items must be in good condition. With a $5 donation, a person can bring a laundry basket full of items and swap them for an equal amount of items. For those who don’t bring items but just want to shop, the cost is $10.

Donations of extra toys and books, along with financial contributions, will be accepted to support efforts to establish Explorium Denton, a planned children’s museum. Hot chocolate will be served Friday and coffee will be served Saturday in exchange for donations.

Items for swapping should be taken to a drop-off site by Friday. To make an appointment, call Anyah Martinez at 940-595-4001.

For more information about Explorium Denton, visit .


Holiday musical planned at Krum High School

The Krum High School fine arts department will present All I Want for Christmas Is You, a holiday musical, at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at the school, 700-A Bobcat Blvd.

Tickets cost $5 and may be purchased at the door. Admission is free for children younger than 6.

Local military families are invited to attend and participate in a special finale presentation. All former and current military personnel and family members are encouraged to e-mail family pictures to  or  for the presentation.

One free ticket for admission will be given to each family that provides a picture. For more information, e-mail Carol Turner or call 940-482-2601.


Entries due soon in annual oratorical competition

Area high school students are invited to enter the American Legion’s oratorical competition on the Constitution.

Each area high school selects one winner for the district competition, and applications are available from high school principals or speech teachers, according to an announcement from Lynn Vowell, state oratorical chairman.

Winners from area high schools should be forwarded to Vowell by Dec. 21, and the District 13 competition for the Denton area will be held Jan. 13 at American Legion Post 71, 2501 Spencer Road. The winner of that competition will proceed to the Division 1 competition on Feb. 3 at the Courthouse on the Square, and the division winner will move on to the state competition Feb. 18 in Brenham.

Scholarships are offered at each level of competition.

For more information, call Vowell at 940-727-8067.


Denton residents support annual shoebox campaign

Denton residents packed more than 9,500 shoebox gifts this year for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, according to an announcement from the organization.

Although the annual national collection week ended Nov. 19, there is still time for area residents to “Build a Box” online.

To participate, visit the project’s website at Then, select a child’s age and gender, shop through an online selection of gifts, virtually “pack” them in an empty shoebox and write a note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has collected more than 94 million shoebox gifts and hand-delivered them to children in more than 130 countries since 1993.


Mall to launch Twinkling Tuesdays promotion

Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville will launch Twinkling Tuesdays this week, offering of variety of activities for shoppers.

The promotion is planned from 4 to 8 p.m. this Tuesday, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 and will include shopping bag giveaways, a hunt for gift cards, prize drawings and refreshments. On Dec. 18, shoppers can have purchases made that night wrapped for free.

For more information, visit


Don’t forget

A holiday open house is planned Tuesday by Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree Service and John Baines, CPA.

The event will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at 600 S. Elm St. For more information, call 940-387-3164.

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 .