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Les Cockrell: ‘Coats for Kids’ motorcycle ride planned for Sunday

The third annual “Coats for Kids” motorcycle ride is planned for Sunday, and the ride is free with the donation of a new coat, organizers said.

This year’s police-escorted ride will begin at 2 p.m. at Fuzzy’s, 1288 W. Main St. in Lewisville, and end at Hoochie’s Oyster House, 207 S. Bell Ave. in Denton.

Families are invited to come out at the end of the ride to make a donation and participate in the event, which will include food trucks and music.

Coats collected through the event are provided to children in need in area school districts. Last year, the ride allowed organizers to give out 976 new coats.

This year’s goal is to collect 1,500 new coats for children, and area residents are invited to help, even if they don’t plan to participate in the ride.

For more information about the ride, visit


Environmental learning area offers post-Thanksgiving hike

Area residents who may need a little exercise to walk off a big Thanksgiving dinner are invited to participate in a nature hike set to begin at 1 p.m. Friday at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.

Hikers will explore LLELA’s forest and prairie areas on the two-hour walk. There is a $2 program fee in addition to the regular gate fee of $5 per person. All ages are welcome. To reserve a spot, call 972-219-3930 or e-mail

LLELA is a 2,000-acre area of prairies, forests and wetlands managed as a wildlife preserve by a group of agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of North Texas, the city of Lewisville, Lewisville ISD and Texas A&M University. 

LLELA is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for fishing, hiking, camping, bird watching, kayaking, canoeing, picnicking and other outdoor activities. LLELA’s entrance is at 201 E. Jones St. at the intersection of Kealy Street in Lewisville. For more information, call 972-219-3930 or visit


Reservations now being taken for overnight camping workshop

Reservations are now being taken for an overnight family camping workshop on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Johnson Branch Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

The workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. and families can learn basic camping techniques, including how to pitch a tent and use a stove safely, and how to build a fire and cook on a grill. There will also be a trail adventure, geo-caching activity and fishing. Plans also call for kayaking instruction, but that activity will depend on the weather, a spokeswoman for the park staff said.

The fee is $65 per family, which includes a tent, air mattresses, lanterns, camp stoves, campsite, entrance fees and supervision by a park ranger. Participants will need to bring their own food, plates, sleeping bags and personal items. A suggested packing list can be found at TOFPackingList.

Campers will also take part in the “Dreaming of a Wild Christmas” event with campfire cooking demonstrations and samples, Christmas crafts and stories. That event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and it is open to families that don’t take part in the overnight camping adventure. Visit to learn more about that event.

For more information about the overnight camping event, visit Reservations are required for the family camping workshop by calling 512-389-8903.


VNA Ann’s Haven to offer “Light Up A Life” tree beginning Dec. 2

VNA Ann’s Haven 29th annual “Light Up A Life” holiday tree will return to Denton’s Golden Triangle mall Dec. 2, and area residents can honor the memory of friends and family members.

For each contribution of $15 or more, a personalized dove with the name of the person to be honored will be placed on the tree.

The tree will be on display in the JCPenney Court at the mall through Dec. 21. VNA Ann’s Haven volunteers will be accepting donations and providing information from 2 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Funds raised from the “Light Up a Life” program are used to provide compassionate end-of-life care through VNA Ann’s Haven Hospice Care to terminally ill patients, caregivers and loved ones in Denton County who lack resources for needed care. Donations can also be made by contacting VNA Ann’s Haven’s Ginny Hudson at 940-349-5900 or


Prosper Police launches Cops with a Claus program

The Prosper Police Department will be accepting donations for its annual Cops with a Claus gift card program until Dec. 6, according to a department press release.

Donations can be dropped off at either Prosper Town Hall, 121 W. Broadway St., or at the police dispatch office, 101 S. Main St. .

“The Cops with a Claus program has been quietly addressing the needs of some of our fellow residents since 2001,” Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone stated in the press release. “The holiday program is part of our commitment to serve, and that’s something we as police officers take very seriously.”

The program, administered and run by police officers and dispatch personnel, is designed to provide assistance to people and families in financial need by presenting them with a gift card that can be used in grocery stores, department stores or other businesses. The goal is to raise $500 for each recipient family.


Clean-up event draws more than 350 volunteers

Keep Lewisville Beautiful celebrated its 23rd annual citywide waterway clean-up event Nov. 16 at Lake Park in Lewisville, and 352 volunteers collected just over four tons of trash, according to a KLB press release.

The organization partnered with the city of Lewisville, LLELA, T.R.E.E.S., the Army Corps of Engineers, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Rain Ranchers, CoServ and Kayak Power to conduct the event. Volunteers targeted creeks, streams, shoreline and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

Trophies for most trash collected went to: adult large group, EA Engineering, 35 bags; adult small group, the Hlatky family (three members), 35 bags; youth large group, Lewisville High School ROTC group led by The Lewisville Texan Journal’s Steve Southwell, more than 87 bags; and youth small group, Girl Scout troops 650 and 3854, more than 16 bags.

The trophy for the most unusual item found went to Americorps team members, who found several illegally dumped electronics in a local creek. Other interesting items included a hot tub cover, pool equipment, a basketball goal, a bed and mattress, a baseball jersey, a credit card, a statue of a saint and one dressy high-heel shoe, the press release stated.

Coserv awarded KLB a $500 grant for the purchase of litter grabbers for the event.

For more information about Keep Lewisville Beautiful, visit, e-mail or call 972-538-5949.

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