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Les Cockrell: Event slated for park April 20

The sixth annual Take the First Step 5K/1-mile fun run/walk is planned on April 20, and those who register soon can still qualify for a T-shirt, organizers said this week.

Online registration is available at  by clicking on the “Take the First Step” link.

The free community event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Eureka Playground in South Lakes Park, 556 Hobson Lane in Denton.

Organizers said the event is planned to bring awareness to the impact of cardiovascular disease in Denton County and is open to everyone, whether they are seasoned runners or residents who are just getting started with a walking program. Dogs on a leash also are welcome.

Prizes will be awarded in the following 5K categories: children younger than 10, teens 11-18, adult men and adult women.

Registration will not be available on the day of the event, but late registration will be offered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, and Thursday, April 18, at the Denton County Health Department, 535 S. Loop 288, Suite 1003.

Event packets can also be picked up at that time.

For more information, call 940-349-2922.


Dogwood Estates offers pet-friendly activities

Denton’s Dogwood Estates independent retirement community will welcome spring with pet-friendly activities for seniors Friday through Sunday.

A program on pet care tips is planned from 3 to 4 p.m. Friday. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.

A pet parade and adoption day is planned from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, and treats for humans and pets will be available.

Seniors can learn how to make their own pet treats during a program planned from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The events are free and open to the public. Dogwood Estates is at 2820 Wind River Lane. To make reservations or for more information, call 940-383-8600.


Denton Herb Society members to meet Saturday

Members of the Denton Herb Society will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

Guest speaker Jan Sims, a certified natural health professional, will give a presentation on essential oils as nature’s remedies and discuss herbs that provide essential oils.

For more information, visit  or e-mail .


Roanoke’s Unique Week offers four free concerts

Roanoke’s Unique Week is scheduled to kick off on Monday, offering four nights of free live music and restaurant and merchant specials.

Concerts planned at Austin Street Plaza, 221 N. Oak St., are the Layne Arnold Band on Monday, Benay & Logan on Tuesday, Sloppy Joe Band & Luau on Wednesday and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band on April 11.

For more information, visit .


Celebration of Hope event planned Saturday in Frisco

Susan G. Komen North Texas and presenting sponsor Alcatel-Lucent will hold the ninth annual Celebration of Hope from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Embassy Suites in Frisco.

The event will include a health and lifestyle expo, a fashion show, musical performances, the presentation of the 2013-2014 Komen North Texas Grantee Class, a silent auction and door prizes.

Tickets are available at Prices are $5 for survivors and $35 for supporters. Complimentary garage parking will be provided for all guests.

For more information, call 972-378-4808 or visit .


Keep Aubrey Beautiful seeks volunteers for cleanup

Keep Aubrey Beautiful is signing up volunteers for Aubrey’s Great American Cleanup/Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off, planned from 9 to 11:30 a.m. April 13.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. at the festival grounds, 301 S. Main St. The event is part of a national cleanup, beautification and community improvement program.

Breakfast snacks for all participants will be provided by Jackie’s Hardware. Hope Food Bank will be collecting canned or nonperishable food, so each participant is encouraged to bring food to donate.

Last year’s event resulted in 200 volunteers on 14 teams picking up 294 bags totaling 9,000 pounds of trash and litter last year.

Registration forms are available at  or . For more information, contact 940-343-1313 or .


Giving Hope Inc. to present first Heart of Hope awards

Staff and board members of Giving Hope Inc. have announced that Barbara Atkins and Meridian Bank of Texas will receive the first Heart of Hope awards.

The awards are given to one person and one organization that have helped the agency move toward its goal of helping clients achieve self-sufficiency.

“Barbara has been a true force for change in the community,” Alonzo Peterson, executive director of Giving Hope, stated in a press release. “She built Hope and has literally helped house thousands of clients in Denton County over the last two decades.”

The organization award goes to Meridian Bank of Texas. The bank helped the agency replace its computer server.

The awards will be presented at a Celebrity Waiter Night event to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Denton’s First United Methodist Church. For tickets, call 940-380-0513.


Squadron uses grant to buy equipment

The Civil Air Patrol Nighthawk Composite Squadron stationed in Denton recently purchased a new direction-finding receiver using a grant provided by the Denton Benefit League.

The direction-finding receiver is specifically designed to locate aircraft emergency locator transmitters, marine emergency position-indicating radio beacons and personal locator beacons carried by hikers, campers, pilots and others, a press release stated. It can also be used in other services, such as finding scientific research transmitters.

Whenever the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration search-and-rescue satellite-aided tracking system picks up an emergency-locator signal in the area, the squadron gets a call to dispatch a search team using the squadron aircraft stationed at Denton Enterprise Airport or a ground-search team.

Using radio direction-finding equipment, the plane or ground team searches for and locates the signal source and then either handles the situation or guides other first responders to the site, where they can provide on-site rescue. In the case of a false alarm, the owner is located to shut down the signal.

The Nighthawk Squadron, made up of more than 100 volunteers, spent a weekend training members on the new equipment and has placed it in to active service.

For more information, visit .

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 .