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Les Cockrell: Area state park plans weekend activities

Hikes, programs offering information about wildlife and a star gazing event are planned for this weekend at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

An “I Heart Texas Hike” is planned for 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit. Participants should wear sturdy shoes, bring water and meet in the amphitheater near the fishing pond.

A sunset hike is planned for 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Johnson Branch. Participants should wear sturdy shoes, bring water and a flashlight and meet at Pavilion 1.

A program titled “Quit Bugging Out” at 10 a.m. Saturdayat the Johnson Branch amphitheater will teach children and adults about insects and spiders, and a short scavenger hunt hike is planned at the end of the talk.

“Wildlife Detectives,” planned for 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Johnson Branch amphitheater, will teach children and adults how to use their observation skills to find traces of animal activity. It will be followed by a short track-hunting hike.

A stargazing event is planned for 8:45 to 10 p.m. Saturdayat the park’s Isle du Bois Unit.

No white-light flashlights will be allowed, according to Kelly Lauderdale, park interpreter.

“The reason we do not want white-light flashlights is because white light ruins not only your own natural night vision, but the natural night vision of everyone else in the vicinity,” she wrote in an e-mail.

Red-light flashlights do not interfere with night vision, she said.

The activities are free with regular park admission, which is $7 for those 13 and older.

For more information about Isle du Bois events, call 940-686-2148.

For information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2294.


Fundraiser to aid Denton County MHMR Center

A fundraiser for the Denton County MHMR Center is planned for Friday at Mooyah Burgers, 2530 W. University Drive, Suite 1100.

Supporters need only tell the cashier that they are at the restaurant to support Denton County MHMR, and the center will receive a percentage of food sales from 4 to 10 p.m.

Support from the public helps the center to continue providing quality mental health services.


Denton event to benefit Conquer Chiari Walk

Aubrey resident Karole Ridley and Lone Star Indoor Sports Center in Denton are inviting area residents to “skate away Chiari” at 6 p.m. Friday.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Conquer Chiari Walk 2013 to be held Sept. 21 in San Antonio.

Biggest Loser contestant Alex Reid is scheduled to attend for a meet-and-greet session. Lone Star Indoor Sports Center is at 1800 Shady Oaks Drive.

Ridley has organized several Denton events to heighten awareness of Chiari malformation, a serious neurological disorder, and raise funds for research.

She will be participating in the September walk.

For more information, visit , and those who would like to support her efforts can call Ridley at 214-557-9181.


Library slates photography workshop for young people

A digital photography workshop for young people is planned for 3 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Denton’s North Branch Library.

The hands-on workshop for ages 11-18 will cover basic photography techniques ranging from lighting and composition to adjusting a camera’s various settings.

The event will be presented by photography instructor Will Milne of the Denton school district’s LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex.

Participants are invited to bring cameras and photos on a flash drive for critique.

The library is at 3020 N. Locust St.

To register, call 940-349-8752.


Library to offer class on getting organized

Emily Fowler Central Library will host a class Saturday designed to help area residents organize their lives.

Titled “Organization 101: Basic Steps for an Organized Life,” the class will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. and will be led by professional organizer Reanna Wallace, owner of Dallas-based Blissfully Organized LLC.

The library is at 502 Oakland St. Class size is limited. Register by calling 940-349-8749 or e-mailing .


Texas Dream Cruise car event planned in Frisco

Car clubs from throughout Texas and several other states are scheduled to take part in an event called the Texas Dream Cruise from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco.

Cars including classics, late models, convertibles and customs are expected, and the event’s beneficiaries include the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County, the North Texas Military Association and City House.

Activities will include rides, a mechanical bull and 70 booths for families and kids, plus VIP cars including Eleanor, the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 from the movie Gone in 60 Seconds.

Live music will be provided by the Rumble Kings, and donations of food items will be accepted for the Frisco Family Services food pantry.

For more information, visit .


Agencies slate four CERT training classes

The Little Elm Fire Department and Denton County Department of Emergency Services are cooperating in offering four classes to help prepare area residents for becoming members of the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT.

To qualify for the class, applicants must be residents of Denton County and must attend all four classes.

Deadline to register is 5 p.m. July 5.

Classes will be held on two consecutive weekends: 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, July 12 and July 19; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 13 and July 20.

Interested individuals may place their names in consideration for the class by contacting Brenda Gormley at  or 940-349-2855.

Applications made by fax can be transmitted to 940-349-5316.

Classes will be limited in size and will be at the Little Elm Public Safety Center, 88 W. Eldorado Parkway.


Eight-week caregiver education program set

NAMI Denton County, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its eight-week Family-to-Family Education Program beginning July 8.

The course will be from 6 to 8:45 p.m. on consecutive Mondays at Crossroads Bible Church, 8101 FM407 in Double Oak.

The free program is for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness.

The course provides a broad perspective designed to help parents, spouses, siblings and adult children better understand and support loved ones living with mental illness, while taking care of their own needs.

For more information or to register for the course, e-mail Esther Fidler at  or call 469-671-0421.

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 .