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Les Cockrell: Center shows support for awareness week

Staff members from the Denton County MHMR Center visited the Denton Square Thursday to display green ribbons and post a sign for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which was observed May 5-11.

Thursday was selected for the display because it is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, a spokeswoman for the center said. The goal of the effort was to heighten awareness of the incidence of mental health disorders among young people and assistance programs and treatment options that are available.

According to information provided by Denton County MHMR, only 20 percent of children with mental disorders are identified and receive mental health services in any given year, so it is important that children and adolescents, along with families and communities, learn about the warning signs of mental health disorders.

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of mental health disorders among children and adolescents provide them better opportunities to lead productive lives, and the participation of family members in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents is integral to positive clinical outcomes, the information stated.

For more information about mental health programs available in Denton County, visit .


Fundraisers planned to fund Chiari Malformation

Aubrey resident Karole Ridley has planned several Denton events to heighten awareness of Chiari Malformation, a serious neurological disorder, and raise funds for research.

Ridley will be participating in a Conquer Chiari Walk Across America event this September in San Antonio and said she decided to begin promoting fundraisers in the local area to help the cause.

“We’re really trying to raise awareness,” she said.

One fundraiser is planned all day today at the Chick-fil-A restaurant located at 2410 W. University Drive, Ridley said. The other is scheduled every Wednesday in May from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Mooyah restaurant at 2530 W. University Drive, Suite 1100.

Information about upcoming fundraisers can be found at, and those who would like to support her efforts can call Ridley at 214-557-9181.

For more information about Chiari Malformation, visit .


Organic Society to hear program on ‘Laws of Nature’

The Denton Organic Society will host a presentation on "The Laws of Nature" by Greg Willis on Wednesday at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

Members meet for a seed and information exchange at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information, call Mike Mizell at 940-382-8551 or visit .


Donors sought for two Denton blood drives

Area residents are invited to participate in two blood drives this week.

The first, planned from 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday will be at Curves at Unicorn Lake, 2900 Wind River Lane, Suite 146.

The blood drive will be conducted by Carter BloodCare. For more information, call 940-384-7506 or e-mail .

The American Red Cross will conduct a community blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the gymnasium of Denton’s St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Oak St.

For information about donor guidelines, visit or .


Keep Lewisville Beautiful offers class on herbs

Keep Lewisville Beautiful will hold a Garden Secrets class from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St. in Lewisville.

Guest speaker Zoe Broxson, an active Denton County master gardener, will speak on “Growing and Cooking with Herbs from the Garden” and offer information about herbs that can be successfully grown in North Texas.

For more information, contact Keep Lewisville Beautiful at 972-538-5949 or .


Denton lecture to explore history of Chisholm Trail

The Denton County Office of History and Culture will present a lecture titled “Cattle Trails: The Chisholm Trail and Intersection with Denton County” from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday in the Commissioners Courtroom of the Courthouse on the Square, 110 W. Hickory St.

Presented by Alan Schiegg, the lecture will cover the influence of Chisholm Trail on Texas, including how the route opened a major industry and helped pull the state out of the financial devastation caused by the Civil War.

Schiegg will talk about how and why the trail started, the cowtowns that developed as the trail herds moved north, as well as the significance of the trail and the impact on the country's development both culturally and financially, according to a press release.

Schiegg is a former volunteer docent at the Institute of Texas Cultures in San Antonio and the National Park Service Trails and Rails program. He moved to Denton two years ago and now served as a volunteer docent for the Denton County Office of History and Culture.

All Courthouse Museum exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public. Handicapped parking and accessibility are available through the north entrance.

For more information, call 940-349-2850.


Presentation on global climate change to be held

Members of the Elm Fork Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program will host a presentation on global climate change Thursday at the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St. in Denton.

Guests are welcome to attend the chapter’s meeting at 9:30 a.m., and the presentation will follow at 10:15 a.m.

Guest speaker will be Tom La Point, senior scientist and professor of biology at the University of North Texas.

La Point will provide background information about climate change and bring attendees up to date on the most recent developments. He will also discuss the individual’s role in contributing to the problem and how people can work to lessen their impact on the environment, according to a press release.

For more information, visit .


Online registration available for upcoming DATCU Dash

Online registration continues at for the 2013 DATCU Dash 5K run/walk to benefit the United Way of Denton County.

This year’s event will be held Saturday at South Lakes Eureka Park, 556 Hobson Lane in Denton. Late registration will be at 7 a.m. on race day, and the event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

Trophies will be awarded for overall top male/female finishers in the run. Medals will be awarded for the first-, second- and third-place male and female finishers in the event’s 13 age divisions.

For more information about the event, visit .


Greenbelt Alliance holds GreenFest kick-off event

Members of the Greenbelt Alliance held a GreenFest Kick-Off Lunch on April 22 to get the word out about plans for this year’s event.

Presentations about the importance of the Greenbelt, its history, future projects and GreenFest 2013 were made by Chris True, Ray Roberts Lake State Park superintendent, and Ken Dickson and Richard Rogers of the Greenbelt Alliance, according to a press release.

The second annual GreenFest on the Greenbelt will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the FM455 Greenbelt Park, just south of the dam at Ray Roberts Lake. The event, will celebrate the Ray Roberts Greenbelt through outdoor activities, live music and food, while emphasizing outdoor fun, respect for nature and boating and water safety, organizers said.

Last year’s GreenFest was attended by 328 people and raised $7,730 after expenses for Greenbelt projects including reopening the equestrian trail between FM428 and FM455 and the installation of a wetland observation deck, the press release stated.

Information about sponsorship opportunities and vendor openings is available by contacting Lauren Poleski at 682-365-8677 or .

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 .