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Les Cockrell: Riding center seeks volunteers for fall

Riding Unlimited therapeutic horseback riding center in Ponder needs volunteers to help with its fall session, according to an announcement from the center.

A training session for volunteers is planned from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.

All volunteers must be 14 years of age or older and volunteer positions include horse handlers and side walkers.

Horse handlers need to have experience with horses because they will bring mounts to the arena to groom and tack them and then walk with the horse and rider during lessons for the rider’s safety.

A side walker position is for those who do not have horse experience but are willing to learn. Side walkers walk beside the horse and rider, providing either physical or verbal support during a lesson. The instructor will direct what type of support is needed for each rider.

Certified instructors will teach riding lessons Monday through Saturday beginning the week after the volunteer training session, the announcement stated. Classes continue for 10 weeks.

New this fall is Riding Unlimited’s Wounded Warrior program, which will be offered at 5 p.m. Mondays, and volunteers are also needed to help with this effort. Volunteers will assist veterans in a riding class, grooming and tacking horses or whatever activity is planned for the class. No previous experience is required.

Riding Unlimited also has barn assistant and facility team positions open.

The center is located at 9168 T.N. Skiles Road in Ponder. Anyone interested in signing up to volunteer or wanting additional information can e-mail or call 940-479-2016 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


CASA seeks volunteers for training sessions

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Denton County, Inc. is seeking volunteer advocates for upcoming training sessions, according to a press release from the agency.

There are hundreds of children in foster care in Denton County, and last year more than 900 of these children suffered abuse at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them, according to the press release.

Court appointed special advocates support these children by advocating for their best interests in court. CASA of Denton County strives to serve all children in need of an advocate, but more volunteers are needed to meet that goal, according to the release.

Area residents who have a few hours a week to help are invited to contact CASA of Denton County to learn more about the program and the two training options offered.

Traditional in-class training consists of 30 hours of study over five weeks. The next session starts Sept. 6 and runs through Oct. 3.

A new online self-paced training program is also available. It also includes 30 hours of study over five weeks starting Oct. 11 and running through Nov. 14. This program consists of 50 percent online self-paced learning and 50 percent in-class learning.

For more information about the volunteer opportunity and the volunteer advocate application process, visit


Fundraiser planned to benefit Boys and Girls Clubs 

A fundraiser for Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central Texas is planned from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the Tilted Kilt, 2290 Stemmons Freeway in Lewisville, according to a press release.

During the fundraiser hours, a percentage of proceeds will go to help the Boys and Girls Clubs provide school supplies, sports equipment and other necessities to support at-risk young people who are club members, according to a press release.

Area residents can also support Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central Texas by donating at the organization’s website,


Lewisville Saddle Club members planning rodeo

The Lewisville Saddle Club, with support from the city of Lewisville, will hold its 49th annual Labor Day rodeo Friday through Sunday, according to a press release from the city of Lewisville.

Performances will begin at 8 p.m. daily at the Mill Street Arena. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 5-12.

Nightly rodeo clown contests and mutton bustin’ for ages 6 and younger will be held, and country music band Midnight Thunder will perform Sunday from 7 to 8 p.m. and 10 to 10:30 p.m.

For more information, call 214-534-8440 or visit


LLELA invites public to share ‘Stars on the Prairie’

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area invites area residents to explore the wonders of the night sky during a “Stars on the Prairie” session from 8:45 to 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

The session will be led by Clyde Camp, a master naturalist who has been an amateur astronomer for more than 30 years, according to a press release from LLELA.

The program is open to ages 5 and older, and there is a $2 program fee in addition to the regular gate fee of $5 per person. Registration is required by calling 972-219-3930 or e-mailing

If the sky is cloudy, a night hike will be held instead of the astronomy session.

LLELA’s entrance is at 201 E. Jones St. (at the intersection of Jones and Kealy streets) in Lewisville.


Public invited to observe composer in residence

Joseph Pinson, who retired from the music faculty at Texas Woman’s University in May, is currently composer in residence at the Denton County Historical Park’s Bayless-Selby House, according to an announcement from the Denton County Office of History and Culture.

Pinson is creating distinctively Texas music and making it available to teachers and musicians, and area residents can stop by and observe his work. Pinson's hours at the Bayless-Selby House vary from day to day, and those who want to make an appointment can call him at 940-453-3273 or e-mail  

Pinson’s compositions will be available at the Denton County Office of History and Culture website,

During his time at TWU, Pinson taught courses in music therapy, arranging and piano. He has produced more than 100 hymns, songs and works for various ensembles that have been published and recorded, the announcement stated. He has been a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers since 1983, and since 2000 he has received the annual ASCAP-Plus Award. He is a native Texan and has been a resident of Denton since 1969.

The Denton County Historical Park is located at 317 W. Mulberry St. in Denton. For more information, call the Office of History and Culture at 940-349-2850.


Physician part of Leadership North Texas class

The North Texas Commission has announced its fifth program year of Leadership North Texas, and Denton physician Dr. Liz Seymour of Medical Associates of Denton is a member of the group, according to an announcement from the organization.

Leadership North Texas is a graduate-level, regional leadership program that recruits, develops and supports stewards of the North Texas region, according to the announcement.

Since the program launched in 2008, Leadership North Texas has graduated 114 leaders including a state representative, numerous mayors and city council members, a county commissioner, business and non-profit executives and higher education leaders. This year’s class will be the largest to date with 33 participants. 

Leadership North Texas meets one day a month, September through May and covers topics such as regionalism, the North Texas economy, education and workforce, the cost of incarceration on a community and transportation and sustainability. 

Established in 1971, the North Texas Commission is a regional nonprofit consortium of businesses, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development entities and higher education institutions in the North Texas Region.

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