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Les Cockrell: Boy uses birthday party to help children in need

The Denton Parks Foundation scholarship account got a nice boost recently, thanks to a local boy’s birthday party.

“I had a call from a parent whose son wanted to collect money to help provide scholarships to kids that needed help so they could go to camp or participate in activities,” Janie McLeod, community events coordinator for the city of Denton, wrote in an e-mail.

Simon Lynn, 3, loves visiting Denton parks, so his recent birthday party featured a donation jar for the scholarship fund, said his mother, Michelle Lynn.

“We actually talked about this with him,” she said. “He really enjoys visiting the parks, and he’s really into camping and fishing. We use the parks a lot.”

An outdoor theme was chosen for the party, which featured a tent and a nature walk in the family’s backyard, Lynn said.

When the party concluded, the family counted up $145 in donations.

After the money was taken and donated to the city, an anonymous donor learned about the party and offered to chip in another $140, McLeod said.

“We are so excited about it,” she said.

The party was fun and helped make an important point, Lynn said.

“I just think it’s important for kids to give back to their community and for them to understand that’s part of their civic responsibility,” she said.


Retired school personnel group slates luncheon

Members of the Denton Area Retired School Personnel Association will have a Christmas luncheon and music program by Chuck Martin and Company on Friday at the C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, 1500 Long Road.

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Cash donations for the Denton Community Food Center will be collected.

A meet-and-greet session will begin at 11 a.m.


Dogwood Estates invites area seniors to programs

Denton’s Dogwood Estates retirement community has announced several programs for seniors this weekend.

A program on downsizing, with tips from experts, is planned at 4 p.m. Friday. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

A program on crafting Christmas cards is planned from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Seniors are invited to lunch if they reserve a spot.

Christmas cookies, hot beverages and holiday music will be featured.

Cocoa and cookies will be served from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, and seniors who make reservations are invited to stay for lunch. Space is limited.

Each event is free and open to the public.

Dogwood Estates is at 2820 Wind River Lane. For more information, call 940-383-8600.


Library schedules program on buying e-readers

A program on buying an e-reader will be offered from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Denton’s South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane.

The free program will offer information about the different types of e-readers available.

For more information, e-mail .


Author to sign copies of new cookbook at library

Corinth author Nuhad (Nancy) HeLal will visit Denton’s South Branch Library from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to sign copies of her new cookbook, Let’s Dine Lebanese.

As a young girl in Lebanon, HeLal spent hours watching her mother cook.

Capturing her mother’s authentic recipes, she has recreated many favorites in the new cookbook.

The library is at 3228 Teasley Lane.

For more information about the author, visit .


Foo McBubba to perform Sunday at Sweetwater

Fans of Foo McBubba, the big band at Denton’s First United Methodist Church, will have an opportunity to hear the band at 7 p.m. Sunday at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern.

Admission is free, and the band will present jazzy Christmas cheer.

Sweetwater Grill & Tavern is located at 115 S. Elm St.


Group slates adaptation of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Denton Community Theatre will present an adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life, based on the film by Frank Capra, Friday through Sunday and Dec. 14-16 at the Campus Theatre, 214 W. Hickory St.

Performances are planned at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 14-15, and at 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 16.

Tickets cost $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (62 and older) and $10 for students and children.

Seating is reserved.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Campus Box Office at 940-382-1915 between 1 and 5 p.m., or online at .


Learning area to offer bird walk, nature hike

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area will offer a winter bird walk and a guided nature walk on Saturday.

Keith Lockhart will lead the bird walk at 7:30 a.m. and guide visitors to locations for viewing wintering sparrows, ducks and other birds.

Ages 10 and older are invited to participate, and there is a $2 program fee in addition to the regular gate admission of $5 per person.

The guided nature walk, led by a Texas Master Naturalist, begins at 10 a.m. and guests will explore the Cicada Trail, searching for animal tracks and signs and learning about the area’s natural history.

There is a $2 program free for this walk, in addition to the regular gate admission.

Reservations are requested but not required for both activities. To sign up, call 972-219-3930.

For more information, visit .


Church to offer free live nativity hayride

Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Flower Mound will have a free live nativity hayride for the public from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Hay wagons will transport guests to eight scenes, featuring about 70 characters, during the 20-minute narrated ride.

The nativity hayride will include live camels, sheep, goats and donkeys, and guests can visit a petting zoo at the end of the tour.

All ages and cameras are welcome.

The church is at 1401 Cross Timbers Road. For more information, visit .


Car racing, car show set for benefit event

Car racing, a car show and live music will highlight the “Exotics vs. the World” event from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at North Star Dragway, 3236 Memory Lane in Denton.

The event benefits the North Texas Food Bank. Admission is a donation of cash or canned food items.

Racing is free, and the car show is open to all cars. Food will be available.

For more information about the event, visit .


Children invited to have breakfast with Santa

Children are invited to have breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Vista Ridge Mall, 2401 S. Stemmons Freeway in Lewisville.

Breakfast will be served in the mall’s food court courtesy of Sonic Drive-In and the mall, but guests are asked to bring nonperishable food items or paper goods to be donated to the Christian Community Action food pantry.

For information, visit or call 972-315-3641.


New Horizons Band plans concert at local church

Denton’s New Horizons Band will present a concert at 7 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 1114 W. University Drive.

There is no admission charge, but guests will have an opportunity to donate to Denton Christian Preschool.

The band includes some of Denton’s most experienced musicians.

The concert will feature marches, a visit to Broadway and plenty of holiday tunes.


Attorney to discuss wills, trusts at hospice luncheon

Elder law attorney Leighton Hilton will be the featured speaker for a hospice family luncheon given by Ann’s Haven VNA from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The luncheon will be at the Denton Elks Lodge, 228 E. Oak St.

Hilton is scheduled to discuss “Is Your Will or Trust Ready for the New Year?”

There is no cost to attend the luncheon, but reservations are requested and can be made by calling Molly Harrison at 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 .