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Les Cockrell: Rotary slates training program

Approximately 120 high school students from within Rotary District 5790 are scheduled to be in Denton to take part in the 13th annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program today through Sunday.

RYLA is Rotary’s leadership training program for young people. Participants learn fundamentals of leadership, problem solving, conflict management and communication skills. The activities are designed to help young people build self-confidence and self-esteem and understand the importance of citizenship and community involvement.

This year’s participants were chosen for their potential as leaders to attend the all-expenses-paid camp, which is sponsored by Rotary clubs in District 5790, which encompasses the North Central Texas area.

“RYLA in Denton gives young adults an exciting opportunity to have hands-on learning about leadership, citizenship and personal growth,” Mary Ann McDuff, chairwoman of Denton RYLA, stated in a press release. “By nurturing youth, Rotarians can provide the skills young people need to succeed as future community leaders, and demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth.”

The attendees of the program are required to participate in a community service project. This year’s project will be revitalizing landscaping and creating a children’s play area at the Wheeler Center, 821 N. Elm St. The students will plant 20 redbud trees and other native plants with the assistance of Keep Denton Beautiful representatives.

“RYLA’s support at the Wheeler Center is a great example of servant leadership — leading by serving others,” said Pat Smith of Serve Denton. “The Wheeler Center will provide the community a capability to address some of the greatest needs recently identified by the United Way of Denton County’s 2011 Needs Assessment.”

The Wheeler Center will eventually house a dedicated facility for families who are homeless and an after-hours health clinic for uninsured patients. It will also provide office space for four nonprofits: Communities in Schools of North Texas, Catholic Charities, Denton Police Department Community Resource Officers and Serve Denton.

For more information about RYLA, contact Mary Ann McDuff at 940-453-2300 or .


State park plans variety of weekend activities

Area residents will have plenty of activities to choose from this weekend at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

A program for families titled “The Fast and the Furriest” is planned at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Pavilion 1 of the park’s Johnson Branch Unit. Participants will learn how to identify mammals found in the park.

A hike is on tap at 8 p.m. Friday at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit. Hikers should meet at the pavilion in the Dogwood parking lot.

Staff members of the park’s Isle du Bois Unit will host a sunset hike at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Hikers should meet at the Lost Pines Nature Trail.

A program on birds titled “Flying Feathered Friends” and two guided hikes are planned Saturday at the Johnson Branch Unit.

Bird watchers of all skill levels are invited to attend the program, which will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. in Pavilion 1. A hike covering about a mile will be included, and participants should bring binoculars.

The hikes are planned at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and each will be along the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association, or DORBA, trail. Hikers should meet at the picnic pavilion in the parking lot of the Dogwood camping area.

Activities are free with regular park admission, which is $7 for ages 13 and older. For more information about Isle du Bois events, call 940-686-2148. For more information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2294.


Registration days set for back-to-school health fair

The first of three registration sessions for a back-to-school health fair planned in August by Heavenly Supply Depot, a community organization that works to heighten awareness of children in need, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 3100 Wilson St.

The Southeast Denton Back 2 School Health Fair, planned from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 10 at the MLK Recreation Center, will be a one-stop event to help economically disadvantaged children go back to school, organizers said.

The health fair will feature health screenings and immunizations, dental information, haircuts, sports physicals and more.

Additional registration sessions will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 29, and Saturday, July 6, at the MLK Recreation Center. Families can also register for the health fair at .

Sponsors, donations and vendors are still needed for the health fair. For more information about the event, contact Kim Teamer at 972-998-9798 or e-mail .


Krum Park Board slates Fourth Saturday Trade Days

The Krum Park Board has scheduled its Fourth Saturday Trade Days event from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at a site across FM1173 from Sonic Drive-In in Krum.

Proceeds will be used to develop a new park. Anyone who is interested in a vendor space or garage sale space should call Les Bishop at 330-257-3835 for more information.


Fundraiser set Sunday to benefit youth mission trip

A fundraiser to benefit the youth group at First United Methodist Church of Denton is planned from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Soda Fountain at 117 W. Hickory St. on the downtown Square.

Proceeds will help fund a high school mission trip to Jamaica.


Don’t forget

Interfaith Ministries of Denton Inc. has scheduled the fourth community registration for the 2013 Apple Tree Project from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 1300 Wilson St.

The Apple Tree Project provides Denton school district students from low-income families with school supplies, shoes, backpacks and new clothing in time for the new school year in August.

Applicants can also call the office at 940-565-5479 to set up an appointment to register. Visit  for more information.

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 .